Fetal Alcohol Syndrome
Some people say that the fetus is not effected by alcohol if the mother does not drink heavily, however, whatever you drink while pregnant goes directly through your bloodstream into the placenta which can cause the infant to have Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. Fetal alcohol is completely preventable. Causing a child to suffer from fetal alcohol syndrome is really nothing short of child abuse.
Fetal Alcohol Syndrome is a condition that comes from consumptions of alcohol while the mother is pregnant. Fetal Alcohol Syndrome is a pattern of both mental and physical defects. Problems that may be caused by Fetal Alcohol are physical deformities, mental retardation, learning disorders, vision difficulties and behavior problems. Alcohol-Related Neurodevelopmental Disorder describes the functional or mental impairments linked to prenatal alcohol exposure, and Alcohol-Related Birth Defects describes malformations in the skeletal and major organs systems. Even though the dangers of alcohol consumption during pregnancy had been suspected for a long time, Fetal Alcohol Syndrome wasn’t formally described until 1968.
If an expecting mother drinks alcohol it travels through her bloodstream and reaches the developing fetus by crossing the placenta. Because a fetus metabolizes alcohol much slower than adults, the developing baby’s blood alcohol concentrations are higher than those in adult body. The more an expecting mother drinks while pregnant the greater the risk is for the unborn baby to have Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. It does not matter what trimester the mother is in the risk is present at any time during the pregnancy. However, it is likely that impairment of facial features, the heart and other organs, including the bones, and the central nervous system may occur as a result of consuming alcohol during the first trimester of the pregnancy. “While it is apparent that children who meet the criteria for FAS are born only to those mothers who consume large amounts of alcohol during pregnancy, studies have reported neurobehavioral deficits and intrauterine growth retardation in infants born to mothers who reported themselves to be moderate alcohol consumers during pregnancy.”
No one knows exactly how much alcohol can cause mental and physical damage in an unborn child. All babies’ brains are sensitive to alcohol. This is why women that are pregnant or are planning to get pregnant should not drink any amount of alcohol. That is the only way to ensure that their baby will not be diagnoses with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome.
Fetal alcohol syndrome isn't a single birth defect. It's a cluster of related problems and the most severe of a group of consequences of prenatal alcohol exposure. Collectively, the range of disorders is known as fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASDs). There several symptoms of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. Symptoms include facial abnormalities, growth deficiencies, skeletal deficiencies, organ deformities, central nervous systems handicaps, and behavioral problems. Facial abnormalities could be, small head, small eye openings, Webbing between eyes and base of nose, Drooping eyelids, Failure of eyes to move in same direction, Short, upturned nose, Flattened cheekbones, Sunken nasal bridge, Flat or absent groove between nose and upper lip (philtrum), Smooth and thin upper lip, Opening in roof of mouth, Small upper jaw, or Low set or malformed ears. Growth deficiencies could be Small body size and weight, Slower than normal physical development, or Failure to catch up with growth. Skeletal deformities could be Deformed ribs and sternum, Curved spine, Caved-in chest wall, Bent, fused, webbed or missing fingers or toes, Extra fingers, Abnormal palm creases, Limited movement of joints, Hip dislocations, Small skull, Excessive hair, and Underdeveloped fingernails or toenails. Organ deformities could be heart defects, heart murmurs, incomplete