28 June 2011

Hi Blog Followers

I am in the midst of a move. It's a big task. Forgive me. The blogs will be fewer for the next few weeks but I have a lot of new blogs in progress and they will appear as time permits.

I really appreciate that my followers have made the choice to be aware, of understanding informed consent, and of reading similar blogs from time to time. They all count, as the fetus, always counts.

Let the fetus do its job of becoming your baby.

No Booze. No Drugs. Being Real.

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19 June 2011

Alcohol Exposure During Stages of Pregnancy

Here we learn a bit about alcohol effects inside the brain. As you see, we are talking about a lot of the brain and its vital functions being compromised and we already know that the more the alcohol consumption the greater the damage.

1.   During the first trimester, as shown by the research of Drs. Clarren and Streissguth, alcohol interferes with the migration and organization of brain cells. [Journal of Pediatrics, 92(1):64-67]

2.   Heavy drinking during the second trimester, particularly from the 10th to 20th week after conception, seems to cause more clinical features of FAS than at other times during pregnancy, according to a study in England. [Early-Human-Development; 1983 Jul Vol. 8(2) 99-111]

3.   During the third trimester, according to Dr. Claire D. Coles, the hippocampus is greatly affected, which leads to problems with encoding visual and auditory information (reading and math). [Neurotoxicology And Teratology, 13:357-367, 1991]

The regions of the brain that might be affected by prenatal alcohol exposure in terms of ability to function include:

Corpus Callosum - passes information from the left brain (rules, logic) to the right brain (impulse, feelings) and vice versa. The Corpus Callosum in an individual with FAS/ARND might be smaller than normal, and in some cases it is almost nonexistent. (MRI images)

Hippocampus - plays a fundamental role in memory.

Hypothalamus - controls appetite, emotions, temperature, and pain sensation.

Cerebellum - controls coordination and movement, behavior and memory.

Basal Ganglia - affects spatial memory and behaviors like perseveration and the inability to switch modes, work toward goals, and predict behavioral outcomes, and the perception of time.

Frontal Lobes - controls impulses and judgment. The most noteworthy damage to the brain probably occurs in the prefrontal cortex, which controls what are called the Executive Functions.

Let the fetus do its job of becoming your baby.

No Booze. No Drugs. Being Real.

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13 June 2011

Daily Pregnancy Tracker

I have found a really good daily pregnancy tracker that shows/tells the fetal development by day. Go to:    (or go down and see direct link:)

http://www.thecradle.com/ and see this home page:

Then select:

Here you will find your daily tracker. Pick any day of the 9-month term:

I put you through that to show you one link path. My advice is to do exploring on any site of interest by looking at every FASD page you might have to click through.

Direct Link

So for fun I'll track what happens on my birthday, assuming day 1 is Jan 1st, 2011. My birthday is May 8th, so we are looking for Day #128. And here is what it says:

Day 128 puts me at the beginning of the third trimester - a rapid growth trimester.
  • Over the next two days, lanugo (temporary downy hair) will begin to appear on my head and body. The lanugo helps hold the protective vernix on my skin, and by the time the I'm born, most of the lanugo will have disappeared.
Take care not to get too tired, since the rapid growth of the baby this month will compound the burden on your heart, lungs, and kidneys.

I'll show you what the lanugo (temporary downy hair) looks like:

For fun I'll do my friends birthday, March 3rd. That would be Day #62:

Day 62 puts my friend at the beginning of the 1st Trimester which begins the embryotic stage.

Your friend's baby now measures .62–.71 inches long (16–18 mm) and weighs about .033 ounce (0.94 g) — about as heavy as 1/5 teaspoon of water! Even though she is surrounded by fluid, she would not drown because she does not depend on lungs for her air. Oxygen comes to her from the mom through the umbilical cord blood.

So that's how it works. This is an especially great tool for substance abusers. It helps them to "see" exactly what's going on that day and the effects that are taking place within her body. The pregnant person can more able to feel the progress and get inspiration to abstain from their drug of choice. It's a good helper. And, Mom's, I really hope you listen to its advice and teaching.

Let the fetus do its job of becoming your baby.

No booze. No drugs. Being Real.

Fetuses Against FASD

Twitter: @fetuswinning

"The New Pregnancy Vision"

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12 June 2011


F etal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder is 100% preventable.

E ventually an FASD child will also inflict hardship on its own family.

T esting for pregnancy on a regular basis is a crucial missing step amongst drinking women.

U ndiagnosed children in many Canadian communities can be 25% or higher.

S aving babies is all we (Fetuses Against FASD) do.

W e listen when the fetus (foetus) says, “Speak for me.”

I n the beginning, it was a mere thought, a dream, to stop FASD births.

N ow, after 5 years, it is becoming reality.

N ew tactics to old prevention problems are taking shape.

I t is vital to let the fetus do its job of making your baby.

N ew beginnings should never start with brain damaged babies.

G etting pregnant at a bad time is not an excuse to commit child abuse and neglect in the womb.

Let the fetus do its job of becoming your baby.
No booze. No drugs. Being Real.

Fetuses Against FASD

Twitter: @fetuswinning

"The New Pregnancy Vision"
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10 June 2011

Amazing Key FASD Facts In Here

Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD) are caused by maternal drinking during pregnancy.

It is established that no amount of alcohol at any time during pregnancy is harmless.

Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders are the biggest single cause of mental disabilities in most industrialized countries, and could be totally prevented if women abstained from alcohol during pregnancy.

Less obvious and seemingly milder foetal alcohol damage is sometimes called Foetal Alcohol Effects (FAE). This term has fallen out of use and has been largely been replaced by Alcohol-Related Neurodevelopmental Disoreder (ARND), Partial Foetal Alcohol Syndrome (pFAS) or Static Encephalopathy. These conditions can be equally as damaging to babies but are rarely diagnosed.

Some experts estimate that about 1% of North Americans suffer from FASD – about 4 times as many people as those with AIDS/HIV. There are 3 to 5 times as many people with ARND than FAS.

Since 1973, the medical profession has known that alcohol in pregnancy impedes foetal brain development, affecting intelligence, learning skills and behaviour.

Persons with FAS have distinctive physical appearance and lower IQs, but have lower crime and addiction rates than those with ARND as they get earlier diagnosis and can be better protected by society and their parents.

Individuals with ARND may look normal and may have seemingly normal intelligence, but their damaged brains can result in learning disabilities, impulsivity, lying, stealing, tantrums, violence and aggression, inability to predict consequences or learn from experience, lack of conscience, and being highly addictive.

Most people with ARND look perfectly normal and are never diagnosed. Research indicates that a high percentage of homeless people, and at least 25% of juvenile and adult offenders suffer from undiagnosed FASD.

Of FAE individuals between the ages of 12 and 51:

95% will have mental health problems;
            60% will have “disrupted school experience”;
60% will experience trouble with the law;
55% will be confined in prison, drug or alcohol treatment center or mental institution;
52% will exhibit inappropriate sexual behavior.

Of FAE individuals between 21 and 51:

more than 50% of males and 70% of females will have alcohol and drug problems;
82% will not be able to live independently;
70% will have problems with employment.

Some researchers estimate that each individual with FASD costs society approximately $2 million in his or her lifetime, for health problems, special education, psychotherapy, and counselling, welfare, crime, and the criminal justice system.

During their lifetimes, the individuals with FASD now alive in Canada will cost the taxpayers about $600 billion, about the same as the current national debt. In the U.S., they will cost the taxpayers about $6 trillion.

Early diagnosis can help prevent secondary disabilities such as mental health problems, dropping out of school, trouble with the law and substance abuse. After diagnosis, parents often find that their ability to cope with the child’s behavior changes dramatically when they understand that the problems are most likely based on organic brain damage, rather than the child’s choice to be inattentive or uncooperative. Of course this is only after diagnosis.

Let the fetus do its job of becoming your baby.

No booze. No drugs. Being Real.

Fetuses Against FASD

Twitter: @fetuswinning

"The New Pregnancy Vision"
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9 June 2011

Who Put's the "Ad Clothes" On?

When I say "ad clothes," I mean something effective, shocking or very emotional must be in ads in order for them to be effective. That's easy to agree on because if I asked you right now to think of an ad against drunk driving, M____ will come to mind. See, I didn't even need to write it out. The "MADD ads" have clothes on. The most important characteristic is: "ad clothes" are compelling and must spell out tragedy (real or presumed) in some way that other people's brains can connect with easily and strongly.

In order to demonstrate the power of ads I decided to compare MADD Ads, Anti-Smoking Ads, Anti-Drug Ads and then finally, Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Ads we all might have seen if we live in Canada or the USA. You decide who wears ad clothes as we move on.

After that, I'll present some of my own FASD Ads.

So first off: MADD

A new progressive approach by Vancouver Police to spot drunk drivers was carried out. Not just that – the alcohol limit went from .08 to .05. That means one drink could end in a criminal charge against the driver. I believe MADD was the driving force behind these and many other anti-drinking actions carried out by our Canadian government. They create ads we remember. Check out this drunk driver ad. If you've never seen it before, I bet you'll never forget it:

Look, MADD uses blood and gore! Here are a few more ads:

                                                              Lakita Williams Age 16

Now let's look at cigarette ads:

Cigarette packs have dreadful warnings on them. New laws are being passed faster. First, no smoking indoors, then no smoking outside coffee shops, restaurants, etc. Cigarettes are hidden from public view in stores that sell them. And now it’s illegal in Vancouver, at least, to smoke on the sidewalk or to throw cigarette butts on the street. Though the latter is not strongly enforced right now, it will be, eventually because the last law says that one must only smoke 5 meters (16 ft) from any building. In other words, one have to smoke in the middle of the street to be legal.

In the following cigarette ads, the government has a strong medical case against smoking and therefore appeals to the rational, logical part of our healthy side. The ugliness of it is a bonus for those who should not start in the first place. I'm talking about the pics on cigarette jackets (12 in all). I do, however have to stay in line with pregnancy so the first images on our cigarette packs are:

But then we go from that previous "drinking gore" to "smoking grotesque":

Now let's look at anti-drug ads:

They can be very graphic and can sometimes give a “sick in the stomach” feeling. I believe these ads are directed to parents and older kids (12 yrs?) in schools and the street people who are not yet addicted – even professional people and families as well as pregnant moms. I’ll admit, I don’t really see a lot of these ads but certainly have seen drug reality on the streets of Vancouver and in it's transit systems. But check these out on the validity score on effectiveness:

(Just so you know, the top pic has a man on her. Yeah, he's on her and she believes it's the best way to go in her circumstance, to be the toy for a pervert opportunist; to get more methamphetamine.) 

Now everything changes. Forget all about all the fuss with drama, blood and death. We are heading into the "FASD Ads" portion of this demonstration. The angle on saving fetuses isn't blood and gore, but more like, "Smarten up already!" This is a touchy place for gore so I believe the focus is to draw in and deliver a potent, short message. Ads for FASD have to be very serious and unbendable and should suggest, in my case, a strong statement for the fetus. An effective "shake 'em up" ad is totally possible. Unfortunately it is far easier to see pictures of the aftermath of giggling FASD children than it it to find a powerful ad like the Madd ads, etc. (Obviously I'm Googling images.) So look at this Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder Ad:

Not even barely finding any FASD ads, the above looks like a business card. And the caption is only half the mental picture. "OK," I say,"So you wish your mommy didn't drink when she was pregnant with you." "And..." Where's the other half? Where's the doom? Where's the tragedy? How am I motivated by this? It doesn't even look nice. Hey, if I'm not impressed, engaged, pulled in by an ad, I could care less about it. Maybe that's just me but look at a couple more. (They really are not easy to find.):

Just to be sure you are aware (above), there is a pregnant woman on the left and a man on the right. The clarity of the ad was like this when I found it but I imagine you can read it since I can read it. I would rate this ad as "not bad," but it causes one to have to think. Is the answer "3 people will be adversely affected," or is it "1 person will be adversely affected"? Adverse, (thanks to free online dictionary by Farlex), means "contrary to one's interests or welfare." So while some of you may conclude that three people (2 adults 1 fetus) are adversely affected, I conclude that only 1 of them is adversely affected, the fetus. If the big people want to go ahead and adversely kill themselves, that's their business. But it becomes everybody's business when there is a fetus involved.

I simply can't find any more FASD ads worthy of mention. Try 2 more anyway:

You know, after looking at this ad, we really can't be sure of the message in the above. To me, it is like another half-ad. It says, "Guess what I'm telling you?" Even though we already know what the answer should be because of this blog, "Don't drink while pregnant," there is nothing at all in this FASD ad that says, "Don't drink while pregnant!" Nothing! She's got her hand on her tummy. What?...is she making the fetus feel better? Maybe the ad is saying that one drink will not harm your baby for all I know. Now I'm exagerating yet, for this ad I say, "Good try."

OK. This one has me. After seeing this ad, I'll never drink again during pregnancy. Really? A warning, this lovely, picturesque ad, absolutely cannot be taken seriously. And they are using "here's to" as a drinking salute to "alcohol free." The lady has an apple in her hand. What's up? No danger there. To put it bluntly, this an awfully ineffective ad. It's only nice to look at. For a second.

Still me here...

So if you trust that I did not try to put any bias into my picture selections and that I tried to stick to topic, than can you agree that everyone has put the "ad clothes" on except FASD? Can you feel that FASD Ads are only half-ads, as I call them? Can you agree that the FASD Ads are not very effective?

Now I'd like you show you a few of my FASD ads. I'm not asking you to agree or disagree or like or dislike the ads, but do they meet the "ad clothes" criteria? In your opinion? Reply at bottom of blog if you should feel so inclined. So here are the four and I'll admit the bottom one needs a bit more effort:

It took me three or four tries to get the dandelion right with the camera. Yes, I do all my own grphics.

This next ad might be a bit busy but I'd use it as a bus ad. Certainly not a billboard.

I guess I'll end this here. Hope you have found some insight as to why FASD isn't stopping. I believe it is all about advertising. In fact, an MLA in Ottawa has recently Emailed me that the statistic has been confirmed to have risen to 10 out of 1,000 births from 9 out of 1,000. Still a guestimate but it is definitely rising. It's no wonder why. Too many people who have the power to do more, are not. True, according to my Ottawa friend, the government has FASD on the back burner. That includes support. He also mentioned that they may never get to it, at least while he's in office. That says a lot. An honest answer from Ottawa (Parliament). That's why I always say Canada should be ashamed. Not to my MLA friend. To everyone in Canada. What's wrong that we can't think or even attempt to become informed about what the fetus' needs are?; how the fetus must feel inside; and the helplessness.

Guess I'll to do it for the lazy ones. Still waiting for the million dollars that I will need for the first 3 years of the organization that will curb the rate of FASD. Come and help me rich people who care about Canada's #1 birth defect. I will honor your donation with everything I/we have and can do and can live for. We need a smart Canada. Zero drinks for nine months. We'll be there.

Let the fetus do its job of becoming your baby.

No booze. No drugs. Being Real.
Fetuses Against FASD

Twitter: @fetuswinning

"The New Pregnancy Vision"
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8 June 2011


It may be true that the fetus cannot think for itself. But if it could, what would it say?

"You're hurting me mama and I didn't sign up for this deal." Logically followed by, "I WANT OUT!"

If it could think, it would know that a drink here and there for an alcoholic would also mean inevitable binges along the way. It's the nature of the disorder. And the fetus is strapped in, defenceless against the cold splash of hard liquor flowing through that placenta and through the blood of the umbilical cord.

Imagine that you are a surgeon captured by aliens and they tell you in 9 months from now they will let you go. But while you are in their spaceship, they keep coming into your room with their special brain-cell-recovery tools to remove some of your brain cells. Once in a while, they'll come and take a whole chunk of brain cells, sometimes for days in a row. Then they'll be good to you for awhile before the cycle starts again.

How would you feel having someone remove your brain cells? Do you know what happens if someone takes your brain cells away? Of course you do. Therefore, 9 months is a really long time. Finally, you are set free and the aliens apparently made sure the whole world never noticed you missing, because, were you ever really there? You know, with the brain injury and all? Doc?

Your first patient rolls into the surgery room. Your job is to operate on the liver. As the operation begins you ask for the...my God...wait a minute...oh, the scalpel. Whew, you remembered. The next thing you forget is the name of the "extractor." Hey, if you are having a problem naming tools, you really should not be a surgeon. Well the decision has been made for you - YOU'RE FIRED! Actually, you were never hired anyway.

This is how it would be if you had FASD. In medical classes you likely would not have made it through the first module let alone the next and harder ones. Therefore FASD babies can never be surgeons.

What else could you not be with FAS? A lawyer (you can't remember your line of questioning at the trial); a senior manager at Chrysler (you can't solve logistics problems); a cinematographer (you can't remember three manoevers at the same time); an actor (you can't remember the lines); a computer programmer (you can't remember coding); and on and on. There will be no high education for you my dear alcohol-induced drinking victim. Your memory can be severely affected; you'll have difficulty in retrieving information; and you will be easily distracted, to name but a few of the hurdles.

Next time you think about drinking while pregnant, imagine aliens plucking away at YOUR brain cells because when you drink that is exactly what you're doing to the one you carry.

Let the fetus do its job of becoming your baby.

 No booze. No drugs. Being Real.

Fetuses Against FASD
Twitter: @fetuswinning

"The New Pregnancy Vision"

Comment Below...

1 June 2011

Examples of Self-esteem Subverting - Maybe Your Pregnancy

Maybe You?

It's true. We could be undercutting our own intelligence in what I call the rating game. We all do it. We are aware of it and it's usually a rating out of "10." You could wake up in the morning feeling great. If asked, you might feel really good and give yourself a rating of 8 or 9. Maybe 10. You haven't had a drink since you became pregnant.

But, at work, you are still aware that one or two people will be laid off soon in your office. You still feel good about your position at the front line, but someone at the office doesn't like  and you believe is also in good favor with the boss. Still you do your job perfectly.

But then you go bubbling into the office and find a sticky note on your computer: "There is money missing from your vault. It doesn't match your accounting." You recognize the boss's writing.

So you start to feel panicky because now you thought you did your accounting properly. The self-rating begins to fall. You walk into your bosses office and she doesn't look happy. How do you feel now? Do you still feel like a 9? Then you begin to think others saw your sticky note. But you're not a thief. Still others think your are...you are case building against yourself. But instead of just feeling anxious, you also feel temporarily guilty and defensive and blaming yourself. Now you are also self-downing. Your rating has gone down to a 5. Does your mind now float to the bar? It was so easy then.

Your boss gets off the phone. She says to you, "You are responsible for all money and expenditures and come out with a perfect balance. But since you have been here for 2 years and I have never had a complaint (which you know is a lie because Warren is the bosses chummy pal and Warren constantly tries to make you look bad), she continues, find the 200 dollars."

What is your rating? 4? 6? 7 maybe? Maybe just a couple of drinks after work?

You go back to your desk. Besides your daily work you have to review everything and find the $200 dollars. But something happens. You open up the vault, count the money and find the mistake in the accounting right away.

Within a half hour you walk into your boss' office and tell her the good news. You said it was a simple mistake on the books. Then the boss says, "I know, and I also know what Warrens' doing. I'm not impressed. I think he is very insecure (Warren "sounds" like 5 rating) and that he likes to brush my shoes, so to speak.He comes into my office with gossip on his face. I'm not impressed. Just walk back to your desk, sit, have a big sigh and smile. Customers are coming"

You go back to your desk. Indeed, you have a real natural, genuine smile. .

How do you feel? How do you rate yourself now? I'm thinking, 10. Chances are, you are willing to give up the pretend drinks you imagined minutes ago.

Self-rating changes your thinking. The words, "I'm bad," or "No good," Bring ratings down. Over a period you become your own rating of yourself. But if you had a no-self-esteem philosophy, you could way more easily just conclude that everyone has ups and downs and that you had yours today. You can really still feel good again. That's special. Good for you.

Just remember to never get caught in the rating game. It is what it is and you are who you are. You can't really change you completely but you can defintely stop self-downing and self-rating.

(Author here: That was a small example. Actually it happened to my friend.)

I think the point of all this is that if you are going through life rating yourself and judging how much esteem you have you could be taking yourself down. The office people would know it. That will affect how people treat you. You are a pushover. And if it's about what people think of you (usually is), then you could get yourself into real trouble. You must take yourself back. Stay who you are, sober.

Then there is the opposite. There are some who are a perfect 10 all the time. They can do no wrong and they think they are the cats' meow. 24 They-7. And often times they are very good. They are “jungle fighters.” I don't know about you but I think these perfect 10's are more like perfect 4's. It's much like the Trooper Song, A 3 Dressed Up As a 9. Phony. They do not get any information from us.

So you see how rating youself is a dangerous game and it was already my pleasure to enlighten you with this article in the previous blog, Alcoholics Recalibration Continues, entitled, Warning: Self-Esteem May Subvert Your Sobriety. (May 27) It is a good little read by a pro doc.

Let the fetus do its job of becoming your baby.

No Booze. No Drugs. Being Real.

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