FASD respect act

Senate Bill 2238

Summary and Rationale of the FASD Respect Act

House Bill 4151

Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders in Hawaii

Individual Advocacy

Bipartisan Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders bill

Organizational Advocacy

Hawaii FASD Faqs

What is Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder?

This is a term describing a wide range of effects that can occur in an individual whose mother drank alcohol during pregnancy. These effects may include physical, mental, behavioral, and learning disabilities with life-lasting implications.

Can FASD Be Treated?

Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder is irreversible. Physical defects and mental deficiencies typically persist for the child’s lifetime. However, early intervention services may help reduce some of the effects and may prevent some secondary disabilities.

Is any trimester safe?

The adverse effects of alcohol on a fetus can occur in every trimester. There is no safe dose of alcohol in pregnancy, and there does not appear to be a safe period of pregnancy for drinking.

Is FASD Hereditary?

Fetal alcohol syndrome is not hereditary. It is not currently known why some children are more likely to develop fetal alcohol disorder than other children if their mothers drank during pregnancy.

How Common is FASD?

The exact number of children who have an FASD is difficult to determine. Some experts estimate that approximately 40,000 babies in the USA may be born with a fetal alcohol spectrum disorder each year.

How is FASD Prevented?

FASD is 100% preventable. The only absolute way to prevent FASDs is to completely avoid alcohol use while pregnant. Damage can occur from prenatal alcohol exposure even during the earliest weeks of pregnancy.

I just found out I am pregnant. I have stopped drinking now, but I was drinking in the first few weeks of my pregnancy, before I knew I was pregnant. What should I do now?

The most important thing is that you have completely stopped drinking after learning of your pregnancy. It is never too late to stop drinking. Because brain growth takes place throughout pregnancy, the sooner you stop drinking the safer it will be for you and your baby.

If you drank any amount of alcohol while you were pregnant, talk with your child’s health care provider as soon as possible and share your concerns. Make sure you get regular prenatal checkups.

What is a “drink”? What if I drink only beer or wine coolers?

Drinking any type of alcohol can affect your baby’s growth and development and cause FASDs. This includes all wines, beer, and mixed drinks. A standard drink is defined as .60 ounces of pure alcohol. This is equivalent to one 12-ounce beer or wine cooler, one 5-ounce glass of wine, or 1.5 ounces of 80 proof distilled spirits (hard liquor). Some drinks, like mixed alcoholic drinks or malt liquor drinks, might have more alcohol in them than a 12-ounce beer. There is no safe kind of alcohol. If you have any questions about your alcohol use and its risks to your health, talk to your health care provider. You can also visit CDC’s website on alcohol.

Go to the Information for Women page for a picture of the types of standard-sized drinks and the amount of alcohol they contain.

Is it okay to drink a little or at certain times during pregnancy?

There is no known safe amount of alcohol use during your pregnancy or when you are trying to get pregnant. There is also no safe time to drink when you are pregnant. Alcohol can cause problems for your developing baby throughout your pregnancy, including before you know you are pregnant.

FASDs are preventable if a woman does not drink alcohol during pregnancy.

I drank wine during my last pregnancy and my baby turned out fine. Why shouldn’t I drink again during this pregnancy?

Every pregnancy is different. Drinking alcohol might affect one baby more than another. You could have one child who is born healthy and another child who is born with problems.

If I drank when I was pregnant, does that mean my baby will have an FASD?

If you drank any amount of alcohol while you were pregnant, talk with your child’s health care provider as soon as possible and share your concerns.

You may not know right away if your child has been affected. FASDs include a range of physical and intellectual disabilities that are not always easy to identify when a child is a newborn. Some of these effects may not be known until your child is in school.

There is no cure for FASDs. However, identifying and intervening with children with these conditions as early as possible can help them to reach their full potential.

Is it okay to drink alcohol if I am trying to get pregnant?

You might be pregnant and not know it yet. You probably won’t know you are pregnant for up to 4 to 6 weeks. This means you might be drinking and exposing your baby to alcohol without meaning to.

Alcohol use during pregnancy can also lead to miscarriage and stillbirth.

The best advice is to stop drinking alcohol when you start trying to get pregnant.

Can a father’s drinking cause harm to the baby?

How alcohol affects the male sperm is currently being studied. Whatever the effects are found to be, they are not fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASDs). FASDs are caused specifically by the mother’s alcohol use during pregnancy.

However, the father’s role is important. He can help the woman avoid drinking alcohol during pregnancy. He can encourage her to abstain from alcohol by avoiding social situations that involve drinking. He can also help her by avoiding alcohol himself.