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The Beginning of My Personal Journey with FASD

Here I am. Today is November 25th of 2021.

Fumbling my way into the FASD Advocating & FASD Educating arena.

Passionately banding together with colleagues to raise awareness about Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder. Why? Because this is the path that is being laid before me. I can speak up for the innocent individual prenatally exposed to alcohol under the circumstances that result in permanent developmental disability. I can, so I do. February 2016 - Scouring the web for any information on what long term effects were possible as a direct result of prenatal exposure to alcohol. The little information found repeatedly reported “alcohol from the mother's blood stream crosses through the placenta into the developing fetuses blood stream”. That was the extent of the information available. From what I could gather, with a little further research, the placenta does not “take over” entwining the mother/fetus blood streams until 8-10 weeks of gestation.

Therefore, to my understanding at the time, I justified the idea "If alcohol crosses through the placenta, and the placenta does not "take over" till weeks 6-8, then it would be "safe" to continue to consume alcohol through say the first 6-8 weeks of pregnancy, without harm being done to the developing fetus". Further rationalization came as I thought, "You know, 6-8 weeks; that timeframe - before most people with the ability to conceive and carry a developing fetus through to birth - even realize they are pregnant.

In 2016, I was still under the stigmatized mindset that a person who knowingly exposed a pregnancy to alcohol must surely be quite a most horrid person.

Today I know better, so I do better. There are many reasons, beyond a person's control, for a pregnancy to become alcohol exposed.

Jump ahead to 2021, almost 2022!

Much more research has been done. Although we have a long way to go in understanding, recognizing, supporting and diagnosing Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder, the words ringing around the world are: NO AMOUNT OF ALCOHOL IS SAFE AT ANY TIME DURING PREGNANCY! #FASD #FASDaware #StopTheStigma #StopTheStigmaFASD

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