This podcast on prenatal exposure is brought to you through the generous support of our friends at the Jockey Being Family Foundation, who share our vision to provide education and support to strengthen families.

Prenatal Exposure: Diagnosing and Treatment

Do you wonder if your child was prenatally exposed to alcohol or drugs? There may be nothing in the files, but something feels not right? We talk about diagnosing and treating these kids with Dr. Larry Burd, a professor of pediatrics at the University of North Dakota School of Medicine and the Director of the North Dakota Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Center.

In this episode, we cover:

  • Most of our audience is foster, adoptive, and kinship parents and professionals. Often they don’t know for sure if a child has been exposed. The US government estimates that about 10% of all children in the US have been prenatally exposed to alcohol or drugs. Do you have a feel for the percentage of children in foster care or who have been involved with the child welfare system? International adoption? Domestic infant adoption?
  • Does prenatal exposure increase the likelihood of a disruption to a foster or adoptive placement?
  • How is prenatal exposure to alcohol detected or diagnosed?
  • What type of training do pediatricians receive during their education or residency on prenatal exposure and on how to diagnose?
  • Can you tell at birth or in infancy if a baby has been exposed to alcohol in utero?
  • How is prenatal exposure to drugs detected or diagnosed?
  • How does birth order change the likelihood that a child who is at risk has been exposed during pregnancy?
  • What are the long-term impacts of alcohol exposure? What are the symptoms that are most noticeable to parents, teachers, and other professionals working with these children?
  • Alcohol exposure affects multiple systems in the body.
  • Does it matter what type of alcohol was consumed?
  • Who can diagnose a child with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder?
  • What are the long-term impacts of the following drugs?
    • Opioids
    • Heroin and Fentanyl
    • Depressants (benzodiazepines, such as Valium, Xanax)-Prescribed and unprescribed
    • Stimulants-Prescribed and unprescribed
    • Methamphetamines
    • Marijuana
    • Tobacco/Nicotine
  • Do pediatricians have a body of resources to offer parents regarding raising a child with prenatal exposure?
  • Tips for parents.

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Music Credit: Michael Ashworth

Image Credit: Allan Mas