Clinical Practice: ACOG Colleagues Tackle Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) at the Source

According to a new CDC report, one in ten women admits to drinking while pregnant, which means the prevalence of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD) could be higher than was previously thought. FASD is more prevalent than autism and is 100% preventable when women abstain from alcohol in pregnancy.

Recently, a group of six ACOG Fellows met at ACOG headquarters to discuss strategies to increase awareness among their colleagues about ob-gyns’ role in preventing alcohol exposed pregnancies.  The ACOG Fellows—known as FASD Champions—are knowledgeable on alcohol use and abuse among women and have experience as ACOG leaders.  This group is part of a larger workgroup funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that includes family medicine, nursing, and pediatrics professionals.  All are focused on developing a comprehensive approach to prevent FASD.


Pictured are ACOG FASD Champions and ACOG staff from left to right:
Karen Harris, MD, MPH (District XII Chair); Michelle Clark, ACOG staff; Elizabeth Barlet, MD;
Jacquelyn Starer, MD; Kathy Mitchell, NOFAS Vice President; Tricia Wright, MD, MS;
Mishka Terplan, MD, MPH; Dave Garry, DO; Jeanne Mahoney, ACOG staff

The ACOG group is focusing on tactics such as screening and brief intervention (SBI) for alcohol for all women of child-bearing age. They will engage in activities such as giving presentations at grand rounds, including at-risk drinking information in the Maintenance of Certification (MOC) process, and contributing their perspective and expertise in the development of effective messaging and SBI skill-building training.

As they develop their resources, please take this opportunity to review current ACOG guidance and resources on alcohol use during pregnancy at including

Also, please review this resource from the CDC: Planning and Implementing Screening and Brief Intervention for Risky Alcohol Use: A Step-by-Step Guide for Primary Care Practices.

Have any questions or would like to get involved? Please contact Michelle Clark, MSW, program manager, at ACOG: 

American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists
409 12th Street SW, Washington, DC  20024-2188
Mailing Address: PO Box 96920, Washington, DC 20024-9998