Whenever a pregnant woman consumes alcohol, it passes the placenta and affects the fetus as well. This, of course is a negative thing, may lead to numerous health problems and cause physical and mental damage to the child. Many problems which might occur due to fetal alcohol exposure are classified through fetal alcohol spectrum disorder. Out of all these issues, the fetal alcohol syndrome is considered to be the most serious one.
Information about Fetal Alcohol Syndrome
Fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS) is one of the most common causes of mental retardation in children, leading to a permanent, lifelong disability, regardless of the social group, ethnicity or other background of the mother and the child. Rather, alcohol consumption is the only reason behind this health issue.
Statistically, out of every 1,000 newborns in the US, about 1 or 2 will be suffering from FAS. Tests for this condition need to be conducted whenever a pregnant woman has abused alcohol. Note that alcohol abuse is defined as consumption of alcoholic beverages exceeding 7 drinks per week or 3 drink per occasion.
Diagnosis and Treatment for FAS
Whenever FAS is being diagnosed, several factors are necessary to be present. First of all, the newborn needs to have specific facial deformities. Namely, the edge of the lips needs to be thin, the area between the nose and the upper lip smooth and a small opening present between the eyelids. Additionally, abnormalities in height or growth before and after birth are taken into consideration, along with problems regarding the baby's central nervous system. The baby may have a small head, suffer from seizures or show poor results on the conducted tests.
As far as other FAS complications are concerned, vision problems, cerebral palsy, defects of the heart, abnormalities regarding kidneys, problems with the digestive system and hearing impairment, all might be present. For all these reasons, this condition needs to be noticed and diagnosed timely, and an adequate treatment should engage as soon as possible.
The moment the child with FAS is born, he/she is hospitalized and treated. Initially, tests are performed in order to assess the degree of deformity the child is facing. Once this is done, suitable treatments start.
The affected child may need help with hearing or vision and the therapy may accommodate to these requirements. Also, if the infant suffers from seizures, these are treated with medications. In the same manner, other types of disorders connected to fetal alcohol syndrome are deal with adequately.
Finally, we need to stop and think about the effect of alcohol consumption of mothers-to-be. Alcohol abstinence can keep your child healthy and happy. On the other hand, abuse of alcohol may offer one's child a life of pain and health problems.