What is Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder?

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Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder

Consumption of alcohol during pregnancy period can result in a number of physical, neurological and mental conditions that range in severity. All these conditions fall under the term Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD) which includes Fetal Alcohol Effects (FAE) and Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS). Fetal Alcohol Effects fall into two different categories: Alcohol-Related Neurodevelopmental Disorder (ARND) and Alcohol-Related Birth Defects (ARBD).

What is Fetal Alcohol Syndrome?

Fetal Alcohol Syndrome is one of the most common causes of mental retardation and its effects are irreversible and may last for a lifetime. The effects include mental retardation, malformations of the skeletal system and major organ systems such as heart and brain, inhibited growth, poor motor skills, mortality, central nervous system complications and difficulty in learning, memory, attention span, problem solving, social interaction, speech and/or hearing.

Small eyes, short or upturned nose, flat cheeks, and thin lips are some of the facial features that are characteristic of babies with FAS. These features may disappear as the child grows up, but the child still has to cope with numerous other difficulties.

What are Fetal Alcohol Effects?

Fetal Alcohol Effects can be classified into two categories. They are Alcohol-Related Neurodevelopmental Disorder (ARND) and Alcohol-Related Birth Defects (ARBD):

Alcohol related neuro-developmental disorder includes the mental and behavioral impairments such as learning disabilities, poor school performance, poor impulse control, and even problems with memory, attention and/or judgment.

Alcohol related birth defects describes about the malformations of the skeletal system and major organ systems such as the heart, kidneys, bones, and/or auditory system.

Fetal Alcohol Syndrome and Fetal Alcohol Effects

Fetal Alcohol Syndrome is caused by high alcohol consumption during pregnancy such as binge drinking and/or drinking on a regular basis and also due to moderate drinking throughout pregnancy. Keep in mind that the results of both FAS and FAE are irreversible and may last for a life time.

Is any amount of alcohol safe to drink?

There is no amount of alcohol safe during pregnancy and the more alcohol that is consumed, it imposes an increased risk to your developing baby.

How can to prevent FAS and FAE?

Fetal Alcohol Syndrome and Fetal Alcohol Effects can be prevented by completely avoiding alcohol during pregnancy.  Therefore, once you are pregnant or expecting to be pregnant it is always recommended not to consume any amount of alcohol in order to avoid additional complications.