- What is Fetal alcohol syndrome?
- Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Symptoms
- Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Facts and Stats
- Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Causes
- Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Treatment
What is Fetal alcohol syndrome?
This is a disorder also denoted as FAS and is caused from prenatal exposure to alcohol. If an individual drinks while pregnant, this places her baby at peril of developing this disorder.
The deficiencies which are part of this condition are permanent and include serious mental, physical and behavior problems – but they do differ from child to child.
Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Symptoms
FAS is not only a single defect of birth. It is a group of problems which are related and the most serious of a collection of problems which develop because of prenatal alcohol contact. Taken together, these disorders are referred to as “fetal alcohol spectrum disorders” or FASD.
FAS is a very common as well as a very needless source of mental retardation. The range of these mental disorders fluctuates with some babies suffering from them to a greater extent than others.
The signs of FAS may include:
- Distinct facial features
- Small eyes
- Very thin upper lip
- An upturned, short nose
- Skin with surface that is smooth – between the upper lip and the nose
- Defects of the heart
- Joints, limbs and fingers are deformed
- Slow growth physical before and after birth
- Hearing problems and vision difficulties
- Head with small circumference as well as brain size
- Poor coordination
- Problems with sleep
- Delayed development
- Mental retardation
- Disorders with learning
- Behavior which is abnormal
- Short attention span
- Impulse control which is poor
- Extreme anxiety and nervousness
The features of the face for a child with FAS can also develop in healthy children who are normal so to distinguish the normal facial features from those of FAS, requires a professional with expertise.
Physicians can use additional terms when describing some of the signs of FAS. “Alcohol-related neurodevelopmental disorder” or ARND refers to the behavioral and mental impairments which happen as an outcome of exposure of the fetus to alcohol. “Alcohol-related birth defects” or ARBDs refer to the flaws which are physical that occur from fetal alcohol exposure.
If you are pregnant and have a problem stopping drinking, visit your obstetrician or other medical care professional and ask for help.
Since early diagnosis can help to decrease the risk of long-term problems for infants with FAS, it is important that your baby’s physician know if you drank alcohol while pregnant – do not wait for any problems to develop before asking for help.
If you suspect that your baby or child has FAS, visit your physician as quickly as possible. Early diagnosis can reduce the risk of problems which are linked with FAS, including troubles at school, with the law as well as substance abuse.
Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Facts and Stats
Below are some interesting facts concerning Fetal Alcohol Syndrome:
- There are as many as 40,000 infants born each year in the United States with some sort of alcohol-related injury.
- 51% of women of child-bearing age 18-25 and 53% between 26-34 report using alcohol within the last month.
- 17% of women of child-bearing age between 18-25 and 13% between 26-34 report binge drinking which is 5 or more drinks on 1 occasion, within the last month.
- A national survey found that more than half of women age 15-44 drink while pregnant.
- In 1995, 4 times as many pregnant women frequently drink alcohol as in 1991. Researchers speculate that this increase in the consumption by pregnant women can be attributed to widespread reports on the health benefits of moderate drinking.
- Of women who reported drinking while pregnant 66% reported drinking in their 1st trimester, 54% reported drinking in their 3rd trimester.
- It is estimated that FAS occurs in 1 to 2 births per every 1000 in the United States each year.
- Fetal Alcohol Effects, which is a less severe set of alcohol-related abnormalities, is estimated to happen in 3-5 live births per every 1000 in the United States each year.
- FAS is not only a childhood disorder, exposure to alcohol as a fetus can cause a vast range of lifelong mental and physical disabilities.
- Fetal alcohol exposure can increase the risk for later alcohol, tobacco as well as drug dependence in adults.
Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Causes
When drinking alcohol, it goes into the blood system and spreads to the developing fetus by crossing over the placenta. Since the fetus processes alcohol much more gradually than an adult, the evolving baby’s blood alcohol concentration is higher than those in the mother’s body. Alcohol likewise gets in the way of oxygen as well as optimal nutrition being delivered to the baby’s growing tissues, brain as well as other organs.
The more the mother drinks during pregnancy, the more the risk to the fetus. This risk is current at all time for the duration of pregnancy. But, the impairment of features of the face, the heart as well as other organs, bones and the central nervous system can happen as a result of drinking alcohol during the 1st trimester when these measures of the fetus are in key development stages. It is in the weeks very early in the 1st trimester, when many women are probably not even aware that they are pregnant. Alcohol can distress the brain of the fetus at any time throughout the pregnancy.
Although physicians are not certain the amount of alcohol you need to drink to put your fetus in danger, they do recognize that the more alcohol you consume, the larger the odds of difficulties. Because it is not known what is a safe amount of alcohol during pregnancy, do not drink alcohol if you are or you even think you are pregnant or you are trying to get pregnant. A woman is putting her baby in danger even before she knows she is pregnant.
Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Treatment
There is no specific treatment or cure for FAS. The physical deficiencies as well as mental deficits normally continue for a lifetime. Abnormalities of the heart can need surgery. Problems with learning can be assisted by special school services. Parents can frequently be helped with therapy to help manage with a child’s behavior problems.
The emotional and psychological problems linked to FAS can be problematic to cope with. Families as well as children with FAS can greatly benefit from the care of professionals and also from added families who are experiencing the same problems because of FAS. So ask your physician or public medical professional for any local fonts of support for children as well as families with FAS.
A parent of a child with FAS may find the below listed recommendations supportive in the management of problems with behavior linked with the syndrome:
- Create and enforce rules and limits which are very simple
- Implement daily routine which the child can become adapted to.
- Teach the child skills for daily living.
- Point out and use prizes to emphasize behavior that is suitable.
- Guard against a child with FAS being taken disadvantage of by others.
A firm, fostering home is the most significant feature in the protection of children who have FAS from several of the difficulties they are in danger of later in life. These include dropping out of school, encounters with juvenile justice system, and drug abuse.