Fetal Alcohol Syndrome
(Alcohol in Pregnancy; Drinking Alcohol During Pregnancy; FAS)
|Blood Traveling Through Mother's Placenta to Baby|
|Alcohol travels through this path and affects the baby's development, particularly the heart and brain.|
|Copyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.|
- Unplanned pregnancy or failing to recognize pregnancy and continuing to drink
- Lack of knowledge about the risks of drinking while pregnant
- Low socioeconomic status
- Low birth weight
- Small size and delayed growth
- Small head
- Small eyes
- Short, flat nose
- Flat cheeks
- Small jaws
- Unusually shaped ears
- Thin upper lip
- Shaking or tremors
- Sight and hearing problems
- Heart defects
- Small, abnormally formed brain
- Vision problems
- Ear infections
- Difficulty eating and sleeping
- Delayed speech
- Learning disabilities
- Intellectual disability
- Poor coordination
- Behavior problems
- Poor ability to control impulses
- Problems getting along with other children
- History of alcohol use
- Characteristic facial appearance
- Slow growth
- Nervous system problems
- Fetal alcohol effect
- Alcohol related neurodevelopmental disorder
- Provide consistent direction and structure.
- Keep to routines.
- Establish simple rules, limits, and consequences.
- Praise desired behaviors.
- Do not threaten. Violence or abuse increases the risk the child will learn to react in a similar fashion. Your child may need special training to learn ways to handle anger.
- Avoid drinking alcohol if you are pregnant or trying to get pregnant. Also, take folic acid to prevent other birth defects.
- Avoid heavy drinking when not using birth control. Damage can occur before you even know you are pregnant.
- Seek help from a doctor if you cannot stop drinking.
- Use birth control until you are able to quit drinking.
National Organization on Fetal Alcohol Syndrome http://www.nofas.org
Alcoholics Anonymous of Canada http://www.aacanada.com
Women's Health Matters http://www.womenshealthmatters.ca
Chaudhuri JD. Alcohol and the developing fetus—a review. Med Sci Monit . 2000;6:1031-1041.
Drinking and your pregnancy. National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism website. Available at: http://pubs.niaaa.nih.gov/publications/DrinkingPregnancy%5FHTML/pregnancy.htm. Published 2006. Accessed July 26, 2013.
Fetal alcohol syndrome. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed/what.php. Updated December 12, 2012. Accessed July 26, 2013.
Nayak RB, Murthy P. Fetal alcohol spectrum disorder. Indian Pediatr. 2008;45(12):977-983.
Prenatal exposure to alcohol [review]. Alcohol Res Health . 2000;24:32-41.
Thackray H, Tifft C. Fetal alcohol syndrome. Pediatr Rev . 2001;22:47-55.
Treatment and support. National Organization on Fetal Alcohol Syndrome website. Available at: http://www.nofas.org/treatments-support/.
- Reviewer: Rimas Lukas, MD; Michael Woods, MD
- Review Date: 07/2013 -
- Update Date: 05/11/2013 -
This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.
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