Written by Sophie, Biological mum to a teenage son with FASD
Parenting, in general, is hard work. It is challenging but also rewarding, especially as a biological mother to a teenage son with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD).
It’s been almost 18 months since my son was formally diagnosed with FASD, a journey that was years in the making.
FASD is the leading non-genetic developmental disorder in Australia caused by drinking alcohol while pregnant. People with FASD experience lifelong physical, behavioural and cognitive challenges.
More than one in four women who are pregnant or planning a pregnancy are unaware drinking even low levels of alcohol during pregnancy can cause FASD.
Until a few years ago, I was one of these women.
Every Moment Matters: What I Wish I Knew
I was in my early 30s when I fell pregnant with my son. I’d been married for four years to a medical professional and had started to prepare by changing what I ate and drank.
My pregnancy was confirmed at six weeks. We were surprised and delighted. But the excitement was followed by trepidation. I had drunk alcohol the night of conception while entertaining with friends and had a few glasses of wine with friends on two further occasions before finding out I was pregnant.
As soon as I realised I was pregnant, I stopped drinking socially and reduced my weekly consumption to half a glass.
Although we were planning a pregnancy, we didn’t expect to fall pregnant so quickly. Almost one in two Australian women are not aware that alcohol could cause harm even in the early stages of pregnancy.
Every parent wants to do the right thing for their growing baby to give them the best start in life. I would drink one weak coffee per day, wash my salad, and avoid soft cheese for fear of causing harm to my developing baby.
However, I still remember standing in my kitchen for my “Friday night treat” measuring one standard glass of wine. The amount was considered safe at the time. The guidelines are now very clear and if you are pregnant or planning a pregnancy, you should not drink alcohol
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Retrieved from https://mumcentral.com.au/fetal-alcohol-spectrum-disorder/
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not
necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the ‘FASD Prevention Conversation, A Shared Responsibility Project’, its stakeholders, and/or funders.