Fetal Alcohol Syndrome

Fetal Alcohol SyndromeFetal alcohol syndrome (FAS) is a condition that can be passed from a mother to her baby during pregnancy. FAS is often caused by the consumption of alcohol while pregnant. While this disorder is completely preventable, it can cause devastating effects that can negatively affect a child for his entire life. Drinking at any time during one’s pregnancy can put the child at risk for suffering from fetal alcohol syndrome. Alcohol use can cause the most damage during the first three months of pregnancy because the fetus’ largest growth period occurs during that time. Women who binge drink are also at higher risk for fetal alcohol syndrome than women who drink small amounts. Any amount of alcohol consumed during pregnancy can pass through the placenta to the fetus, so women who may be pregnant should be cautious about potentially exposing their child to the dangers of FAS.

The Consequences of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome

Babies who develop fetal alcohol syndrome often suffer from abnormal brain development that may result in a number of irreversible adverse effects. Symptoms of fetal alcohol syndrome may include the following:

  • Premature delivery
  • Physical effects such as deformed facial features, small head, abnormal joints and limbs, decreased muscle tone and poor coordination
  • Delayed development and learning abilities, mental retardation, speech problems and poor social skills
  • Heart defects

Some other common effects of alcohol consumption during pregnancy may include miscarriage, stillbirth and infant death syndrome. Infants and small children diagnosed with fetal alcohol syndrome have the best chance for recovery if they are diagnosed and treated early in the disease’s progression.

Prevention of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome

Fortunately, fetal alcohol syndrome is completely preventable. If a woman wishes to protect her child from the consequences of FAS, she only needs to avoid drinking alcohol during her entire pregnancy. For women who struggle with alcohol abuse problems or addiction, there are a number of treatment programs available to help.

Since so many factors can play into the development and growth of a baby, it is impossible to know how each action will affect an unborn child’s future health. The only way to safely ensure that you are preventing fetal alcohol syndrome, however, is to avoid even small amounts of alcohol during pregnancy.

Treatment for Expecting Mothers with Alcohol Problems

If you or someone you love is struggling with alcohol use while pregnant, please seek help immediately. For help finding alcohol abuse treatment, call our toll-free helpline now. Our counselors are available 24 hours a day to answer any questions you may have about fetal alcohol syndrome and assist you in finding recovery solutions that meet your needs. Please call now.