- Kids Health
Let's Talk Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, Shall We?
The Little Bundle of Joy: Protect Them
Planning of having a baby? Or just found out that you are pregnant? The bundle of Joy… yea, babies do bring lots of joy to the home, even though they’ll leave you getting less sleep than you were used to. And now that you’ve made the decision to bring a new-born in to the world you may want to make some changes to our drinking habits… Trust me; it’s very important, ok? J Good…
Let’s talk a bit about some of the effects that can result from alcohol consumption during pregnancy; let’s get to it.
Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS) – This is a Type of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD). This form of FASD has been shown to be one of the most easily identified and can be diagnosed without having learned of the history of alcohol use by the mother during her pregnancy (specialists are necessary for this)
According to a majority of specialists in the United States, FASDs such as fetal alcohol syndrome are leading causes of developmental disabilities that can be easily prevented. That’s some good news, don’t you think? You have to ask yourself during the pregnancy, or when thinking of having a baby, do you really have to partake? (Alcohol I mean)
In the United States, FAS, has been shown to be the leading cause of birth defects and third leading cause of retardation. You can just see how serious the consequences can be…
Although FAS is highly likely to affect the fetus, and thus babies of women who consume high amounts of alcohol during pregnancy (15 or more cans of beer during a weekend.), there have been cases where it resulted from social drinking (you know, the mother just being a social drinker)
Despite the awareness and the fact that fetal alcohol syndrome is one of the leading preventable causes of fetal development disabilities, studies have found that about 13 percent of women in America consume or have consumed alcohol during pregnancy. This is a cause for alarm given that the consumption of alcohol during pregnancy is likely to result in long term negative consequences, affecting the child late in to adulthood.
According to researchers, the consumption of alcohol can affect the fetus at any given period of the pregnancy. However, the period of time the fetus is exposed to alcohol will have different effects (structural or functional).
Typically, the more a mother consumes alcohol, the higher the chances of fetal alcohol syndrome resulting. Whatever the case, the amount and rate of consumption as well as the specific period of development of the fetus will determine the defects.
- Facial impairments are more likely to occur when the mother consumes large amounts of alcohol during the first trimester of pregnancy (the first three months) - the child is likely to have a small head with thin upper lip.
- With high consumption of alcohol during the second trimester, there are higher chances of spontaneous abortion,
- High consumption during the third trimester may result in impairments of the weight and height of the child. Moreover, this may affect the normal development of the child.
What are Some of the Other impacts You Ask?
Other organs of the body including the heart and bones of the fetus are likely to be affected when the mother consumes large amounts of alcohol during the first three months of her pregnancy. On the other hand, the entire central nervous system of the fetus is highly vulnerable to impairments during the entire pregnancy period. While alcohol has the potential to affect some cells of the brain structure early on in the pregnancy, particularly the corpus callosum, it also has the potential to negatively affect connections between the cells of the brain as well as the rate at which they transmit electrical impulses later on in the pregnancy. Effects on the cerebellum, may affect balance, attention as well as the classical conditioning system.
Some of the most common non- diagnostic differences associated with this disorder include;
- Facial differences associated with the abnormalities of the bone structure,
- Malformations of various organs and the skeleton,
- Sensory impairments,
- Difficulties in coordination as well as reduced muscle tone,
Time to Stop
Does their first drink really have to be alcohol? Sure, it's 9 months, but you want to have a health baby that you'll protect from any harm: Why not start before they are born? At least keep it to a minimum as recommended by your Doctor, Yes?
You want to see that cute smile after a few months and raise him/her to be a strong,healthy baby... Make the right choices now!!!