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Announcement: International Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders Awareness Day — September 9, 2015

Alcohol use during pregnancy can cause a range of lifelong physical, behavioral, and intellectual disabilities known as fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASDs) (1). Alcohol use during pregnancy can also cause miscarriage, stillbirth, prematurity, and sudden infant death syndrome (2). 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. More information is available at 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 (3). More information is available at

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


  1. Sokol RJ, Delaney-Black V, Nordstrom B. Fetal alcohol spectrum disorder. JAMA 2003;290:2996–9.
  2. Bailey BA, Sokol RJ. Prenatal alcohol exposure and miscarriage, stillbirth, preterm delivery, and sudden infant death syndrome. Alcohol Res Health 2011;34:86–91.
  3. McKnight-Eily LR, Liu Y, Brewer RD, et al. Vital signs: communication between health professionals and their patients about alcohol use—44 states and the District of Columbia, 2011. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep 2014;63:16–22.

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