|January 2013 · Vol. 25, No. 1
An unfortunate teratogen
Fetal alcohol syndrome is entirely preventable. We need to remind ourselves and our patients of this fact.
IN THIS ARTICLE
Effects of fetal alcohol syndrome
Could providers be better informed?
Screening and intervention
Erin E. Tracy, MD, MPH
Dr. Tracy is Attending Physician, Vincent Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Massachusetts General Hospital, and Assistant Professor, Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Reproductive Biology, Harvard Medical School, Boston.
The author reports no financial relationships relevant to this article.
Medical students learn early in their education that alcohol is a teratogen. Despite this widespread knowledge, many obstetricians counsel patients about the safety of low doses of alcohol in pregnancy.1 Indeed, the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists’ position on this is, “while the safest approach may be to avoid any alcohol during pregnancy, it remains the case that there is no evidence of harm from low levels of alcohol consumption, defined as no more than one or two units of alcohol once or twice a week.”2CLICK HERE to read more