Health

Fetal Alcohol Syndrome: Its Causes, Symptoms, And Treatment

Jan 10 2020 By Aakritee Gautam

If a mother consumes alcohol during her pregnancy period, the child faces fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS). Fetal alcohol syndrome can be dangerous, resulting in damage of the brain of the child.

Additionally, the growth problems, learning, memory, attention span, communication, vision, or hearing issues might arise in the people suffering from Fetal Alcohol Syndrome.

Alcohol results to Fetal Alcohol Syndrome
Result of Alcohol during Pregnancy
Image Source: DrGreene

Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Causes

Here’s what you need to consider before you consume alcohol during your pregnancy period.

  1. Alcohol might enter your bloodstream and can reach the fetus developing inside your body through the placenta.
  2. It can harm tissue development. With this, it will hurt the overall development of a child and can damage the brain of the child permanently.
  3. While you consume alcohol during your pregnancy period, your child will be the victim of a lack of nutrition
  4. Also, it might interfere with oxygen delivery.
  5. As the concentration of alcohol grows in the body, the metabolism rate of the fetus decreases.

Hence, you need to think about yourself and the baby a lot while you take in alcohol. Because the vital parts of your baby’s brain, heart, and blood vessels develop before you might even know you are pregnant, you need to limit the consumption of alcohol when you doubt your pregnancy.

How much alcohol causes fetal alcohol syndrome?

Any amount of alcohol consumption during the pregnancy period might harm the baby. But, the more you drink, the higher you risk your baby. 

As per the CDC and the U.S. Surgeon General:

There is no known safe amount of alcohol to drink while pregnant. There is also no known safe time during pregnancy or a safe type of alcohol.

Additionally, the American Pediatrics Academy also opposed to drinking during pregnancy. They released the warning statement saying:

There is no safe amount of alcohol when a woman is pregnant. Evidence-based research has found that drinking even small amounts of alcohol while pregnant can increase the risk of miscarriage, stillbirth, prematurity, or sudden infant death syndrome.

Fetal Alcohol Syndrome
Fetal Alcohol Syndrome
Source: Pinterest

Every amount of alcohol, even it’s a glass of wine, passes from a mother to the baby in a growing state, through the placenta. Notably, a baby is exposed to the same alcohol level as a mom while she drinks during her pregnancy. So, think a lot while you drink during your pregnancy. Don’t let your baby be the victim of FAS.

Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Symptoms

Fetal Alcohol Syndrome in babies
A baby suffering from Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Image Source: worthpoint.com

The unborn baby might have to go through a lot because of FAS. As there is a wide range of problems, you cannot ignore any symptoms. The symptoms could be small to acute. Here are some signs of FAS. 

Physical Defects 

  1. Hearing problems
  2. Difficulty in vision 
  3. Small brain size as a result of fetal alcohol syndrome
  4. Deformities found in fingers, limbs, and joints as well
  5. Defect in heart, kidney and facial features

Brain problems

  1. Poor memory 
  2. Lack of judgment skills
  3. Intellectual disability along with learning disorder
  4. The problem in balance and coordination and panic attack
  5. Lack of problem-solving capacity 

Social issues

  1. Facing difficulty in school 
  2. Lack of social skills 
  3. No proper time management skills because of fetal alcohol syndrome
  4. Cannot get along with others
  5. No adequate plan towards a goal 

Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Diagnosis

For the diagnosis of fetal alcohol syndrome, you need to go through the procedures 

  1. See a doctor 
  2. Discuss drinking during the pregnancy 
  3. The doctor will look at the symptoms in your child while it develops
  4. Your doctor might also look at the health issues and the social problems that your child faces. 

Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Treatment

Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Treatment
Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Treatment
Source: News Medical

Although FAS has been one of the prime issues for pregnant mothers, there is no treatment developed yet to this rising issue. Because it affects the physical and mental development of a child; it will last for a lifetime.

However, alcohol syndrome might be prevented by following some treatment procedures. Here are some of the treatment procedures. 

  1. You should see a team of specialized doctors. The doctors should include therapy, physicians, and a psychologist. 
  2. The therapist could help the child with some necessary skills like walking and talking. 
  3. Also, he might look after the social development of a child. 
  4. If you can, you can go for special services like dealing with behavioral and learning issues. 
  5. If required, certain medications could help. 
  6. When the condition is physical, medical care could help with the heart, kidney, and vision problem.  
  7. Counseling the family and the child
  8. Providing vocational training to the child with fetal alcohol syndrome.  

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