Fetal alcohol syndrome is a pattern of abnormalities observed in children born to alcoholic mothers.

Fetal Alcohol Syndrome

Fetal alcohol syndrome is a set of problems that occur in children due to the intake of alcohol during pregnancy. Drinking alcohol during pregnancy increases the risks of your baby having fetal alcohol syndrome. These babies are born underweight and are usually small. They often have small eyes and small head. The birth defects that are observed in such babies are delayed development, heart defects, hearing, and vision problem. As they age they also show behavior problems. Severe cases of drinking alcohol during pregnancy can cause even mental retardation. The seriousness of mental problems varies, with some children experiencing serious complications than others. Fetal alcohol syndrome is not a single birth defect. Early detection of this syndrome reduces the risk of behavior difficulties associated with fetal alcohol syndrome. They include difficulties in concentrating in schools, problems with the law, uncontrolled anger, and substance abuse. If you are pregnant and an alcoholic, take medical help to reduce and avoid complications. If you have consumed alcohol when you were pregnant, let your doctor know it, as early diagnosis might help to reduce the long-term problems among children with fetal alcohol syndrome. Read the article to know more about the complications and preventions of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome
What Is Fetal Alcohol Syndrome
  • Distinctive facial features, small eyes, thin upper lip, a short upturned nose, and a flat skin surface between the nose and upper lip.
  • Hyperactivity, poor impulse control, small concentration, and extreme anxiety and nervousness
  • Slow physical growth before and after birth.
  • Deformities of joints, fingers, and limbs.
  • Hearing and vision problems
  • Delayed development and mental retardation
  • Small head circumference and brain size
  • Sleep disorders and poor coordination
  • Heart defects. 
Causes Of Fetal Syndrome
  • Alcoholic mothers who drink even during pregnancy put the unborn baby at risk of fetal alcohol syndrome.
  • When you consume alcohol, it enters your bloodstream and reaches your developing fetus passing through the placenta. The metabolization process of a fetus is much slower than that of the adult, and hence the developing baby’s concentration of alcohol is much higher than those present in the body. This can cause a serious damage to the fetus.
  • Alcohol also opposes with intake of oxygen and required nutrition to your baby’s developing brain, organs and tissues. 
Prevention Of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome 
  • Fetal alcohol syndrome is absolutely preventable if women do not consume alcohol during pregnancy. There is no such thing as safe level of consumption of alcohol.
  • If you are planning to get pregnant, stop drinking alcohol completely, if you have not already stopped drinking do it as soon as you are pregnant or might be pregnant. This is because your baby’s brain, heart and blood vessels, start to develop in the early stage of pregnancy.
  • Continue to avoid alcohol throughout your pregnancy to prevent fetal alcohol syndrome. Consider giving up alcohol completely during the child-bearing years as the damage occurs in the earliest weeks of pregnancy.
  • If you are alcoholic then get professional help before you get pregnant. This will help you in overcoming your problem of alcohol through treatments. Even small amounts of alcohol can be dangerous to the unborn baby. 
  • Doctors might refer children showing fetal alcohol syndrome to a medical genetics specialist to rule out any other diseases with similar symptoms.
  • There is no cure for fetal alcohol syndrome. Hence, prevention and complete avoidance of alcohol consumption during pregnancy is the best cure for this syndrome.
  • Children who suffer from fetal alcohol syndrome can be helped with treatment. This involves giving them good dental and medical care including hearing aids and eyeglasses if required, and enrolling them in special school programs, to treat developmental issues and behavior problems.

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