ereHEALTH
Call for
Appointment

Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders

Alcohol can harm your baby at any stage during a pregnancy. That includes the earliest stages, before you even know you are pregnant. Drinking during pregnancy can cause a group of conditions called fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASDs). Children who are born with FASD can have a mix of problems, such as medical, behavioral, educational, and social problems. The kinds of problems they have depend on which type of FASD they have. The problems could include

  • Abnormal facial features, such as a smooth ridge between the nose and upper lip
  • Small head size
  • Shorter-than-average height
  • Low body weight
  • Poor coordination
  • Hyperactive behavior
  • Difficulty with attention and memory
  • Learning disabilities and difficulty in school
  • Speech and language delays
  • Intellectual disability or low IQ
  • Poor reasoning and judgment skills
  • Sleep and sucking problems as a baby
  • Vision or hearing problems
  • Problems with the heart, kidneys, or bones

Fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS) is the most serious type of FASD. People with fetal alcohol syndrome have facial abnormalities, including wide-set and narrow eyes, growth problems and nervous system abnormalities.

Diagnosing FASD can be hard because there is no specific test for it. The health care provider will make a diagnosis by looking at the child's signs and symptoms and asking whether the mother drank alcohol during pregnancy.

FASDs last a lifetime. There is no cure for FASDs, but treatments can help. These include medicines to help with some symptoms, medical care for health problems, behavior and education therapy, and parent training. A good treatment plan is specific to the child's problems. It should include close monitoring, follow-ups, and changes when needed.

Certain "protective factors" can help reduce the effects of FASDs and help people who have them reach their full potential. They include

  • Diagnosis before 6 years of age
  • Loving, nurturing, and stable home environment during the school years
  • Absence of violence around them
  • Involvement in special education and social services

There is no known safe amount of alcohol during pregnancy. To prevent FASDs, you should not drink alcohol while you are pregnant, or when you might get pregnant.

Centers for disease Control and Prevention

Source: U.S National Library of Medicine (MedlinePlus)
For more detailed information on Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders vist U.S. National Library of Medicine (MedlinePlus)

Locations

  • Bryan/College Station
    (979) 383-2074
  • Lufkin
    (936) 229-3621
  • South Loop - Houston
    (713) 808-9781
  • Tomball
    (281) 290-8188

Disclaimer

The information on this site is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. All content, including text, graphics, images and information, contained on or available through this web site is for general information purposes only. Everhealth.net makes no representation and assumes no responsibility for the accuracy of information contained on or available through this web site, and such information is subject to change without notice. You are encouraged to confirm any information obtained from or through this web site with other sources, and review all information regarding any medical condition or treatment with your physician.

NEVER DISREGARD PROFESSIONAL MEDICAL ADVICE OR DELAY SEEKING MEDICAL TREATMENT BECAUSE OF SOMETHING YOU HAVE READ ON OR ACCESSED THROUGH THIS WEB SITE. EVERHEALTH IS NOT RESPONSIBLE NOR LIABLE FOR ANY ADVICE, COURSE OF TREATMENT, DIAGNOSIS OR ANY OTHER INFORMATION, SERVICES OR PRODUCTS THAT YOU OBTAIN THROUGH THIS WEB SITE.