September 9 — International Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders Awareness Day

Alcohol use during pregnancy can cause a range of lifelong physical, behavioral, and intellectual disabilities known as fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASDs). Alcohol use during pregnancy can also cause miscarriage, stillbirth, prematurity, and sudden infant death syndrome. During pregnancy, there is no known safe amount of alcohol use as well as no safe time and no safe type of alcohol to drink.

Each year, the ninth day of the ninth month (September 9) marks FASD Awareness Day. This day was chosen to commemorate the 9 months of pregnancy and to serve as a reminder that the best advice is to avoid any alcohol use during pregnancy. The first awareness day was recognized on 9/9/1999.

CDC is working with FASD Practice and Implementation Centers and national partners to promote systems-level practice changes among providers through training and implementation of evidence-based approaches in the prevention, identification, and management of FASDs. Healthcare professionals can use alcohol screening and brief counseling to help people who are drinking too much to reduce their alcohol use and advise women not to drink at all if there is any chance they could be pregnant.


What You Can Do:twitter chat

  • Use the FASD Awareness Day Packet for 2015 to promote consistent messaging about the risks of alcohol use during pregnancy and the effects of FASDs. The packet includes social media messages designed to be used widely.
  • Please share our Web feature with colleagues and partners – Living with FASDs: In Taylor’s Own Words. The feature tells the story of a young man, Taylor Allen, his FASD journey, and how he became empowered to tell his story and educate others. The feature also highlights two new fact sheets available from CDC. Thank you to the Allen family and the National Organization on Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (NOFAS) for sharing their story!
  • Join the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism @NIAAAnews and the National Organization on Fetal Alcohol Syndrome @NOFAS_USA and others for a Twitter chat on September 9 at 1:00pm Eastern. Please use the hashtag #NIAAAchat
  • Help us spread the word….

FASDs are completely preventable if a woman does not drink alcohol during pregnancy. More information about FASDs and alcohol use during pregnancy is available at



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