Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, or FAS, is a pattern of physical and mental defects that can develop in a fetus due to consumption of high levels of alcohol during pregnancy. It causes signs of fetal alcohol poisoning while pregnant such as miscarriage or stillbirth, intrauterine growth retardation, and physical defects.
In addition, when a pregnant woman drinks alcohol, some of that alcohol passes through the placenta. A fetus doesn’t process alcohol like adults do, because its liver is not fully developed, so exposure to alcohol can do a lot of damage. The risk to the baby increases if the mother is a heavy drinker. Even in the first few weeks of pregnancy, when a woman may be unaware that she is pregnant, a lot of damage can occur. Most studies say drinking alcohol is the most harmful to the baby during the first three months of pregnancy.
There Are Different Types of Fetal Alcohol Disorders
- Fetal Alcohol Syndrome
- Partial fetal alcohol syndrome
- Alcohol-related birth defects
- Alcohol-related neurodevelopment disorder
- Neurobehavioral disorder associated with prenatal alcohol exposure
Moreover, these disorders vary from mild to severe.
Symptoms of FAS
There are many symptoms of fetal alcohol syndrome. For example, these symptoms vary from mild to severe and include the following:
- Small head
- Abnormal facial features, for instance a smooth ridge between the upper lip and nose, small and wide-set eyes, a very thin upper lip, etc.
- Below average height or weight
- Lack of focus
- Poor coordination
- Delayed development
- Problems with thinking, speech, movement, and social skills
- Poor judgment
- Problems with vision and hearing
- Learning disabilities
- Intellectual disability or low IQ
- Heart problems
- Kidney defects and abnormalities
- Deformed limbs or fingers
- Mood swings
The earlier that a diagnosis can be made, the better the outcome will be. A physical exam may show heart problems and other early signs of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. However, some signs will only appear as the baby matures: these include slower than normal growth and central nervous system problems. If you are suffering from an addiction, then call today.