Fetal Alcohol Syndrome

The birth defects occurring on the fetus due to excess consumption of alcohol by the pregnant mother is known as fetal alcohol syndrome. Taking alcohol during pregnancy can cause serious growth abnormalities in the developing child causing mild to severe birth defects. Fetal alcohol syndrome was first described by P. Lemoine (France) when he tested 127 children whose mothers are under the influence of alcohol during pregnancy.

Consuming alcohol can lead to birth defects and hence alcohol is medically termed as “teratogen”. There is every chance for getting a child with mental retardation if the pregnant women consume alcohol. Apart from this, it can cause serious physical problems and stagnation of growth of the newborn baby.

Causes :

Taking alcohol and related products can cause severe birth defects in the child and all the problems are classified under the category called Fetal alcohol syndrome. Generally drinking alcohol can cause health hazard to individuals and surely it causes extra risk to the baby. If a pregnant woman takes alcohol, it is passed on to the fetus through placenta. There may be decrease in number of neurons and malformation in the development of brain.

There is no such “safe” level of consumption of alcohol for pregnant women since drinking any amount of alcohol will create an impact on the baby. However binge drinking is likely to cause potential hazard to the developing baby. The risk becomes even higher when the women consume alcohol during the first trimester of pregnancy.

Symptoms :

To begin with, the overall growth of the baby may be less and hence the baby may be of less-weight. It would have poor coordination skills and reduced muscle tone. The child’s ability to think, talk and move can be severely impaired and even his social activities can be disrupted due to alcohol intake in the womb. The child has increased risk of having congenital heart defects like ASD and VSD.

The baby may have small narrow eyes with prominent epicanthal folds. The size of the head may be lesser than average. Similarly the size of upper jaw and upper lips may be comparatively smaller than lower ones.

There may be problems for the child in learning, remembering things. He may not be able to control emotions like healthy children. Further the child is found to have problem in socializing and communicating skills. Even the child may suffer from impairment in basic life skills like bathing and feeding.

Diagnoses :

The pediatrician may look for heart murmur in the child of fetal alcohol syndrome. Delay in physical as well as mental development is a sure sign to diagnose this illness. His facial bones may not be well developed like healthy children. However your doctor may check for alcohol level in the blood of the new mother. Sometimes, he will ask you to perform MRI scan for assessing the brain development for the baby.

Pictures of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome :

Images, Pics, Pictures and Photos of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome

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Treatment :

There is no treatment available for curing fetal alcohol syndrome since it is birth defects, however the effects can be controlled by behavioral cognitive therapy.

Prevention :

The only method to prevent more cases of fetal alcohol syndrome is to control pregnant women from taking alcohol. She should totally avoid taking alcohol to any level and she can join rehabilitation program for controlling her needs when she is pregnant.

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