Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Facts – What You Need to Know

By on October 8, 2013

Fetal alcohol syndrome is a pattern of physical and mental problems that happen in few unborn toddlers when a mother drinks an excessive amount of alcoholic beverages during pregnancy. Alcohol intake during pregnancy is among the leading preventable factors that cause birth defects and childhood disabilities in the United States.

Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Facts

Fetal alcohol syndrome facts – What are the symptoms?

Skeletal deformities:

  • Curved backbone
  • Bent and missing fingers and toes
  • Deformities of joints, hands or legs and fingers
  • Small head circumference
  • Limited mobility of joints
  • Hip dislocation

Organ deformities:

  • Urinary and kidney problems
  • Heart defects
  • Genital malformations

Growth deficiencies:

  • Developmental delay
  • Small body size and weight

Facial abnormalities:

  • Smaller eye openings
  • Drooping eyelids
  • Sunken nasal bridge
  • Flattened cheekbones
  • Small jaw
  • Improperly formed ears
  • Thin upper lip
  • Short and upturned nostril

Central nervous system problems:

  • Small brain
  • Mental retardation
  • Poor motor skills
  • Faulty arrangements of brain cells
  • Vision difficulties
  • Impulsive behavior
  • Learning problems
  • Extreme mood swings
  • Hyperactivity in childhood
  • Attention deficit disorder

Fetal alcohol syndrome facts – What causes it?

If a woman consumes alcohol in pregnancy, it is mixed in her bloodstream and also reaches the developing fetus. Because of this, the unborn baby will not receive sufficient oxygen and nutrition, which help to develop the organs, cells and brain. Alcohol consumption affect the facial muscle tissue, bones, brain, cardiovascular system and several other bodily organs in the growing fetus. If a pregnant woman drinks excessive amount of alcohol, it may worse her baby’s health after delivery.

Fetal alcohol syndrome facts – What is the treatment?

If you are pregnant and will not stop drinking, consult your obstetrician for support as early diagnosis will help to lower the risk of long-term problems for children with FAS. Although there are several ways help to control the symptoms such as surgical treatment to deal with heart failures and facial abnormalities, and special schools for the child’s learning and behavioral needs. Many children with FAS also benefit from professional counseling sessions.

Fetal alcohol syndrome facts – How to prevent?

FAS can be avoidable by preventing alcohol consumption during pregnancy. If a woman is planning for having a baby, she must plan to quit alcohol consumption before getting pregnant.

Some other fetal alcohol syndrome facts:

  • Fetal alcohol syndrome affects about 1-2 out of every 1000 births.
  • Fetal alcohol exposure may raise the risk for future alcohol consumption, smoking cigarettes as well as drug dependence in adults.
  • It is avoidable when a woman never consumes alcohol in the course of pregnancy. Individuals with FAS have distinctive facial features and reduced IQs, but have lower crime and addiction rates.
  • FAS is a long-lasting condition. A child having FAS will become an adult with FAS.
  • There are as much as 40,000 babies born every year in the United States with some form of alcohol-related damage.
  • It is not just a childhood disorder, exposure to alcohol as a fetus can cause a varied kind of lasting physical and mental in capacities.
  • According to the survey more than half of women who are between 15-44 years drank while pregnant.

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Pregnancy is an awesome experience every woman looks forward to in her life one time or the other. This is a unique joy of being a woman – a stage wherein a woman carries a child in her womb for as long as 40 weeks or 9 months.