NMSU Students Educate Public About Risks Of Drinking Alcohol While Pregnant

March 17, 2015

By KRWG News And Partners

Students in a New Mexico State University Public Health Sciences Class have launched a campaign to spread awareness about the risks that are involved with drinking alcohol while pregnant. It’s called, “Sober Choices, Healthy Babies.”

According to Ruben Marquez, an NMSU Senior studying Public Health Sciences, their goal is to spread awareness about the impact that Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder can have and what people can do to prevent it.

“You know we came into the class and heard we were going to be doing a large project, and as public health students we are really excited to be doing something in the community, and applying what we are learning in the classroom,” says Marquez.

According to The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, effects of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders can hamper a person with a lifetime of physical problems, along with issues with behavior and learning.

NMSU Senior, Karen Rodriguez, is hoping to get people to think about the long-term consequences for a baby whose mother consumes alcohol while pregnant.

“It’s not just the short term, it doesn’t just affect you for a few weeks, it will affect you for the rest of your life,” says Rodriguez.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, says in New Mexico nearly 44 percent of women ages 18-44 use alcohol, and nearly 15% binge drink or have four or more drinks on one occasion.

Some may think that it may alright for a pregnant women to consume one alcoholic drink during pregnancy, but Dr. Satya Rao who is teaching the seminar course for the students leading the campaign says that there is very little research available to show a specific amount of alcohol you can drink while pregnant that will not cause FASD.

“In the event of not having this kind of information, it seems appropriate that women who are pregnant make the right kinds of decisions not to drink. We also don’t know the type of alcohol that might be safe, and if there is any type of alcohol that is safe.” Rao Says,”Since we don’t know any of those things it is clear that alcohol causes a lot of damage to not only the women but also the fetus and the child that is born.”

The Students have already gave educational presentations to La Clinica de Familia’s Healthy Start Program, and today from 4-8 p.m. they will be handing out information at Dublin’s Street Pub and The Game Sports Bar and Grill in Las Cruces.

The class will also continue educational efforts to local college and high school students about the risks of drinking alcohol while pregnant.