about exposures during pregnancy or breastfeeding? Contact us online or call our service toll free to speak to a counselor.
Watch OTIS and MotherToBaby’s current president, Dr. Kenneth Lyons Jones, as well as Dee Quinn, MS, CGC, the OTIS Arizona affiliate director, talk about MotherToBaby’s service and the research OTIS is currently conducting.http://www.mothertobaby.org/mothertobaby-experts-appear-on-pbs-during-annual-otis-conference-p154277
Brentwood, TN ‚Äď It’s been 40 years since Kenneth Lyons Jones, MD, and David Smith, MD, first identified Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS) after examining several children with similar traits who had all been born to chronic alcoholic mothers. Today, despite the well-¬≠‚Äźdocumented spectrum of negative physical and mental effects alcohol can have on the developing fetus, Jones says it’s a “major public concern” that 1 in 13 women still drink alcohol during pregnancy, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
“It’s deeply concerning,” said Jones, who is president of MotherToBaby, a service of the international non-¬≠‚Äźprofit Organization of Teratology Information Specialists (OTIS), and considered the world’s leading expert on FAS as well as other areas of birth defects research. According to Jones, the concern has become amplified as recent, misleading reports have hit the mainstream media that suggest light drinking during pregnancy is acceptable for all women. “Each woman metabolizes alcohol differently and 40 years of research overwhelmingly supports the conclusion that a ‘safe’ amount of alcohol that any individual woman can drink during pregnancy has simply not been established.”
Jones says as many as 1 in 100 babies are affected by prenatal alcohol exposure today which can result in a range of neurobehavioral disabilities, now known as Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD). The number of children diagnosed with FASD is almost as many as those diagnosed with autism.¬†
Despite the statistics, Jones understands how many women can become frustrated with the laundry lists of “don’ts” thrown at them during pregnancy. “This is why it’s important that every woman takes the well-¬≠‚Äźbeing of her pregnancy into her own hands by receiving a personalized risk assessment directly from an expert. This way she can make an informed decision about whether drinking alcohol or taking a specific medication, for example, is worth the risk during her particular pregnancy.”¬† Jones and other members of OTIS aim to fill this role of providing
reliable information to women and their health care providers with the launch of MotherToBaby.¬†
MotherToBaby is a one-¬≠‚Äźstop-¬≠‚Äźshop for evidence-¬≠‚Äźbased free counseling available to women and the general public. All North Americans can be connected with MotherToBaby experts, like Jones, and receive individualized risk assessments regarding alcohol, medications and other exposures during pregnancy and breastfeeding through the toll-¬≠‚Äźfree counseling service (866) 626-¬≠‚Äź6847 or online at MotherToBaby.org.
Jones hopes the launch of MotherToBaby and September’s International FASD Awareness Month will influence more people to spread the word about abstaining from alcohol during pregnancy. “The most important message is that FASD is 100% preventable.”
Help spread the word about FASD by sharing the following PSA link:
Media Contact: Nicole Chavez, 858-¬≠‚Äź246-¬≠‚Äź1745, email@example.com. Interviews in Spanish can also be arranged.
As an international scientific and professional society, OTIS has provided evidence-based up-to-date information about the risks of exposures during pregnancy and while breastfeeding through our toll-free telephone service. For more than two decades, OTIS has continued to develop cutting-edge ways to engage and educate women and health care professionals, including our online fact sheets and educational tools, and our strong social media presence. We are pleased and excited to take the next step in the promotion of OTIS services: the official launch of MotherToBaby: A Service of the Organization of Teratology Information Specialists (OTIS)!
Pregnancy Risk Network is a free telephone information service for women, men, and healthcare professionals in New York State and is funded by the New York State Department of Health.
Pregnancy Risk Network provides evidence-based information and risk assessment about exposures that may affect pregnancy or breastfeeding. These exposures can include prescription or over-the-counter medications, illicit substances or substances of abuse, infectious diseases and other environmental agents.
Accurate, up-to-date information enables patients and health care professionals to make informed treatment choices, reduces the risk of birth defects, improves birth outcomes, and reduces the number of unnecessary termination of pregnancies.
We can answer your questions about reproductive exposures when planning a pregnancy, when there‚Äôs been exposure during pregnancy, or when medication is necessary to treat a condition during pregnancy. We also provide information about reproductive effects of exposures to men.
This information is offered to support women, their families and health professionals who are dealing with questions or anxiety about pregnancy or breast-feeding exposures.
The Pregnancy Risk Network is a program of Ferre Institute, Inc. whose mission is to promote the health of individuals and families by providing information and education about genetics, infertility, environmental exposures, and family history; and integrating advances in these areas into personal health management.
Last Modified: March 18, 2013