Wolf Administration officials, pediatricians, and advocates gathered in the Capitol today to raise awareness of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder.

Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder, or FASD, is caused when women drink alcohol during their pregnancy. When that happens, the alcohol passes from the mother’s bloodstream into the baby’s bloodstream. This can result in developmental problems that can affect a victim for the rest of their lives. This includes learning disabilities, social anxiety, impaired memory, and inappropriate behaviors, to name a few.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say one out of one-hundred children are born with FASD. Officials urge women who are trying to get pregnant or who may be pregnant cease consuming alcohol immediately. Alcohol consumption can negatively impact a baby at any stage of the pregnancy.

Pennsylvania Health and Alcohol officials say FASD the number one preventable cause of developmental disability and birth defects, and it needs to end.

“Our message today is clear: don’t drink alcohol while you’re pregnant. It is the one sure way to make certain our children and future Pennsylvanians can lead healthy lives,” says Jennifer Smith, Acting Secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs.

“There’s no safe time, no safe amount, and no safe type of alcohol to drink while pregnant,” adds Dr. Renee Turchi, a Pediatrician.

Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder Awareness Day is observed on the 9th day of the 9th month, to signify the 9 months of pregnancy a woman should be sober.