Basics about FASDs

An individual with FAS may have noticeable changes to their face and limbs, as well as delays in the way their body develops over time. There can also be mental and emotional challenges throughout the person’s life that can impact their social life, education and work. Impairment of facial features, the heart and other organs, including the bones, and the central nervous system may occur as a result of drinking alcohol during the first trimester. That’s when these parts of the fetus are in key stages of development. Fetal alcohol syndrome is a condition in a child that results from alcohol exposure during the mother’s pregnancy. Fetal alcohol syndrome causes brain damage and growth problems.

fetal alcohol syndrome

Other features include a short nose and hypoplasia of the nails and distal phalanges . On occasion, affected infants have eyelid ptosis, epicanthal folds, strabismus, small raised hemangiomas, cervical vertebral abnormalities, and congenital heart disease. Counseling can help women who have already had a child with FAS. Call for an appointment with your provider if you are drinking alcohol regularly or heavily, and are finding it difficult to cut back or stop. Also, call if you are drinking alcohol in any amount while you are pregnant or trying to get pregnant. Binge drinking is more harmful than drinking small amounts of alcohol. Fetal alcohol syndrome is one of the most preventable causes of cognitive and neurobehavioral disability.

Is there is a safe amount of alcohol consumption during pregnancy?

However, the only way to prevent FAS is to avoid drinking beverages containing alcohol during pregnancy. There are no exact statistics of how many people have fetal alcohol spectrum disorder . It can sometimes be difficult to diagnose a person with FASD because of the variety of symptoms and spectrum of severity. Also, not all people who drink while pregnant feel comfortable talking to their healthcare provider.

fetal alcohol syndrome

The entire range of known congenital effects of alcohol including FAS is encompassed by the term fetal alcohol spectrum disorder . The diagnosis of fetal alcohol syndrome should be reserved for those infants who have a history of in utero exposure to large amounts of alcohol and who have the characteristic physical features of the disorder.

Is there a cure for fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS)?

There is no safe type of alcoholic beverage to consume while pregnant. For example, red wine is no safer than white wine, beer, or mixed drinks, since all contain alcohol. Thanh NX, Jonsson E. Life expectancy of people with fetal alcohol syndrome. Journal of Population Therapeutics and Clinical Pharmacology 2016;23. FAS is an irreversible congenital disorder that can only be prevented by decreasing alcohol intake during the whole pregnancy. It is a lifelong disorder, and most treatment is addressed at the level that the syndrome is expressed.

  • Parents might learn different routines and rules that can help their child adapt to different situations.
  • This is because a woman could get pregnant and not know for up to 4 to 6 weeks.
  • 6.Roozen S, Peters GY, Kok G, Townend D, Nijhuis J, Koek G, Curfs L. Systematic literature review on which maternal alcohol behaviours are related to fetal alcohol spectrum disorders .
  • Fetal alcohol spectrum disorders is an umbrella term for a set of disorders caused by the consumption of alcohol by a mother whilst pregnant.
  • Ocular signs present earlier than signs of growth retardation and brain and neurobehavioral involvement and thus can be useful in aiding the early diagnosis of FAS.
  • You can avoid fetal alcohol syndrome by not drinking alcohol during pregnancy.

Certain physical findings, developmental problems, behavioral concerns, or school failure should trigger the parents and the pediatric medical home to consider FASDs as potential diagnoses. Children with an FASD can have brain abnormalities that lead to problems in day-to-day functioning despite having a normal IQ, so a comprehensive evaluation is indicated. No, because FASD are the result of prenatal alcohol exposure. Still, it is a good idea to limit alcohol consumption while providing breast milk to your baby because alcohol can pass through your milk to your baby. Drinking beer does not increase your milk supply, as urban myth suggests. In fact, consuming alcohol of any kind may decrease the amount of milk your baby drinks.

Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Symptoms

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