Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS) is now often referred to as Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASDs) as an inclusive way to discuss the broader range of developmental disorders that can occur as a result of children exposed to alcohol while in utero. Risk factors to keep in mind include a long history of alcohol abuse, poor nutrition, having a previous child with FAS, and genetic susceptibilities. FAS is generally preventable by avoiding the consumption of alcohol during pregnancy. If you have questions about FAS or related concerns, we encourage you to reach out to Oasis Recovery to speak with a specialist who can provide you with more information.
What Causes Fetal Alcohol Syndrome?
In short, Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS) is caused by a woman drinking alcoholic beverages during her pregnancy. Imbibing any type of alcohol has the potential to cause FAS. This includes but is not limited to:
- Hard Liquor
- Hard seltzers
- Hard cider
- Hard lemonade
- Hard iced tea
- Homemade liquors
Any alcohol a woman drinks while pregnant enters her bloodstream and passes into the developing fetus through the umbilical cord. Because the baby is not yet developed, the fetus does not have the ability to break down alcohol through the liver or other organs. This results in the fetus being exposed to the same quantity of alcohol present in the mother’s bloodstream and for an extended period of time.
What Is the Effect of Alcohol on a developing Fetus?
Alcohol can interfere with the normal development of the fetus. Alcohol can specifically affect the development of the brain and central nervous system.
Damage alcohol may cause a fetus can include:
- Brain damage
- Abnormal physical development
- Altered neurotransmitters and their functions
- Oxygen deprivation to the fetus resulting in lack of nutrients
Symptoms of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome
The symptoms of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASDs) can include:
- Atypical physical features
- Smaller head
- Shorter height
- Low body weight
- Poor coordination
- Vision problems
- Hearing problems
- Memory issues
- Lower aptitude
- Delayed speech and language development
- Poor judgment when it comes to decision-making
- Difficulty concentrating
Fetal Alcohol Syndrome is correlated with heart, kidney, and muscular structural issues.
There are neurological issues that are common for children who has been exposed to alcohol while in fetal development. These issues can include a wide range of intellectual disabilities including:
- Learning problems.
- Poor performance in school
- Poor memory
- Short attention span.
- Poor judgment
How to Treat FAS
The effects of FAS do not go away. Keeping that in mind, it’s possible that early intervention (particularly before the age of 6) treatments can improve a child’s development and help them normalize and integrate into school.
There are mediations that can treat and alleviate some of the symptoms associated with FAS.
Other treatments can include:
- Behavior therapy
- Education therapy
- Parental training.
A stable home environment and a loving, supportive family can make a huge difference in the life of a child. Preventing a child from experiencing acts of violence of exposure to extremely negative experiences that cause fight or flight responses is important in early childhood development. Making use of special education and social services can also help a child with developmental delays catch up to their peers and better fit in.
Contact Oasis Recovery to Stop Alcohol Abuse Today
If you or someone you care about has an alcohol abuse disorder (AUD) and is pregnant or plans to become pregnant, Oasis Recovery can help them break the cycle of abuse. Drinking while pregnant can result in Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. Many of the outcomes associated with FAS are irreversible. Reach out to us today to speak with a specialist about the risks associated with FAS and alcohol addiction.