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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2012

    This mother drank while pregnant. Heres what her daughters like at 43.

    Karli Schrider is 43 years old, but she has the developmental age of a first-grader. Her mother drank while pregnant, unaware of the risk of fetal alcohol syndrome. (Bonnie Jo Mount/The Washington Post)

    "Kathy Mitchell wants to share something with you. Shes not proud of it, and its not a behavior she hopes youll emulate. Its just the truth: As a teen, Kathy drank alcohol while pregnant with her daughter, Karli. It was a perilous if unwitting mistake that has defined both of their lives.

    Karli is now 43 but is the developmental age of a first-grader. In the home she shares with her mother and stepfather, she collects dolls and purses, and pores over Hello Kitty coloring and sticker books. Karli has fetal alcohol syndrome, the result of alcohol exposure in utero.

    In middle age, Karli has none of the awareness, self-determination and independence that most of us take for granted. She cant recognize social cues, is easily led and manipulated, and cant predict dangerous behaviors. She can only follow one rule at a time and doesnt understand sequence. She can cross a street at a lighted crosswalk, but if the light is out, shell step in front of a car. She likes to wear pretty clothes, but she cant remember to brush her teeth."

    My kids are a window to my past, a mirror of today, a door to tomorrow, and a keeper of this proud old dad's heart forever.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Such a sad story. Gutsy on the part of this mom to find out why her daughter is disabled and her own culpability in it. The role of public health services are so undervalued in our society.

  3. #3
    Wow. Great read. I aaplaud this mom for putting her story out there to bring awareness.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Fantastic article. My hat's off to Kathy for telling her story and trying to make a difference.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    On My Way
    Drinking wasn’t her only risky behavior: “The fact is, I had poor nutrition, smoked cigarettes, worked in bars and drank alcohol."
    Alcoholism usually combined with a poor diet causes FAS, not drinking alcohol when you feel like having a glass of red.

    I both drank alcohol and smoked during my pregnancy, and none of my kids stand in their bedroom hugging teddy bears all day.
    They are both off to university this and next year.

    My mom did too, and my brother is one of the best social workers in the country I'm from, while I'm self-employed and doing well.
    None of us look odd with the typical FAS symptoms I want to add.

    Just drinking alcohol will obviously usually damage a growing baby, but so will just eating Big Macs or sugary cakes.


  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    This is a good site to note the issue of teratogens. http://childrensnational.org/choose-...her-teratogens

    I am not sure all of the risk factors this woman had during her pregnancies. I was born at a time where mothers were encouraged to go for a lower birth weight. I know my mother smoked and drank. That said, I can safely say that the studies today suggest no alcohol, drugs, and careful diet with good reason.

    I believe that we have a huge public health issue in the United States regarding pregnancy and nutrition. Much more education is needed especially for women/families that are on the margins and have less access to pre-natal health care. Even issues like preparing your body before pregnancy are important to address.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    alcohol causes many, many ,many things in a fetus and just because there are no facial characteristics, it means nothing. It depends when and how much a woman drank while pregnant. There is no safe amount. It is the worse drug that there is.

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