A Program for Women About Choosing Healthy Behaviors to Prevent Alcohol-Exposed Pregnancies
Project CHOICES is a program for non-pregnant women at the Druid Clinic that helps women reduce their risk of having an alcohol exposed pregnancy. CHOICES involves two counseling sessions, plus a family planning visit, for women who drink alcohol at risky levels, and supports these women with their goals to either drink less or effectively use contraception before they become pregnant.
Though most women stop drinking once they learn that they are pregnant, many women do not realize that they are pregnant until the second month of their pregnancy, sometimes even later. This means that many women continue to drink alcohol at risky levels without even knowing the severe and permanent damage they may be doing to their unborn baby.
The risks associated with alcohol use during pregnancy are considerable. Prenatal alcohol exposure is a leading preventable cause of birth defects and developmental disabilities in the U.S, resulting in adverse effects that have been termed Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASDs). Alcohol exposure during pregnancy can have profound and lifelong consequences for children, often affecting the development of the brain and central nervous system. There is no safe time, no safe amount.
Project CHOICES is available to women who are at risk of having an alcohol-exposed pregnancy. You may be eligible if you…
- are between the ages of 18 and 44;
- don’t use a consistent or effective method of birth control, and/or don’t always use condoms when having sex; and
- drink alcohol at levels that are considered “risky.”
A 'standard drink' equals 12 fl. oz. of beer, 8-9 fl. oz. of malt liquor, 5 fl. oz. of table wine, 1.5 fl. oz (a shot) of 80-proof spirits
Risky levels are: 4 or more standard drinks in one sitting, or more than 7 drinks in one week.
It’s important to remember that ALL types of alcohol- even wine, wine coolers, and beer- may put your developing baby at risk for harm.
If you or someone you know may be at risk of an alcohol-exposed pregnancy, please call Debbie Figueroa at 443-844-7634 or 410-926-6075. We can help.