My Baby & Me Guiding Principles:

  • The US Surgeon General states that “there is no consensus on threshold of maternal alcohol consumption and risk to fetus, therefore: a pregnant woman should not drink alcohol during her pregnancy. A pregnant woman who has already consumed alcohol during her pregnancy should stop to reduce further risk.” (1)
  • The CDC urges pregnant women not to drink alcohol at any time during pregnancy. (2)
  • The American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology urges women to avoid alcohol entirely while pregnant. (3)

My Baby & Me is an evidence-based program built upon the following recommendations:

  • Screening

Implementing universal screening and appropriate interventions for pregnancy and alcohol use should be a priority to prenatal care providers, as these efforts could substantially improve pregnancy, birth, and longer term developmental outcomes for those affected. (4)

  • Key Messages
    1. There is no safe amount or type of alcohol to consume during pregnancy.
    2. A developing baby cannot process alcohol.
    3. Alcohol has the potential to cause more harm than heroin or cocaine during pregnancy. (5)
    4. Alcohol use during pregnancy can result in a FASD. (6)
    5. An estimated 1 in 1000 babies have an FASD. (6)
  • Brief Intervention

Brief interventions are short interactions (3 –5 minutes) designed to promote changes around a specific behavior.  This approach is different from traditional behavior change counseling in that the focus is not to provide more information or educate around a topic, but instead to have a non-judgmental discussion around a behavior in question.  The discussion should focus on the client’s beliefs and perspective around the behavior.  The primary focus is around what the client’s goals are, as opposed to what the clinician’s goals for the client are.

  • Motivational Interviewing

Motivational interviewing is a collaborative, person-centered form of guiding to elicit and strengthen motivation for change.  It is grounded in a respectful, cooperative stance between the provider and client.

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Page References:

  1. U.S. Surgeon General Advisory on Alcohol Use in Pregnancy. 2005. Retrieved October 15, 2013 from
  2. Center for Diseases Control and Prevention. 2002. National Task Force on Fetal Alcohol Syndrome and Fetal Alcohol Effect. Retrieved on October 15, 213 from
  3. Drinking and Reproductive Health: A FASD Prevention Toolkit. American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, 2006.
  4. Bailey, B. 2008. Societal Factors in Pregnancy: Why Worry? Pregnancy and Alcohol Use: Evidence and Recommendations for Prenatal Care. Clinical Obstetrics & Gynecology: June 2008, Volume 51, Issue 2, pg. 436-444.
  5. Stratton, K.; Howe, C.; and Battaglia, F. 1996. Fetal Alcohol Syndrome: Diagnosis, Epidemiology, Prevention, and Treatment. Washington, DC: Institute of Medicine, National Academy Press.
  6. National Organization on Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. Retrieved August 20, 2013 from