Fetal Alcohol Syndrome

Filed under: Development/Milestones: Babies, Pregnancy Health

If a pregnant woman drinks during her pregnancy, she runs the risk of giving her unborn child fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS). Consumption of alcohol during pregnancy does not always lead to FAS. Doctors are unsure exactly how much alcohol can cause problems, but they agree that consuming any alcohol is unsafe. They advise pregnant women and those attempting to become pregnant to avoid alcohol.

When alcohol is consumed, it crosses the placental barrier and can stunt the growth of the fetus. It can also cause atypical facial features (a flat face with narrow eye openings) and damage brain structures and neurons. Permanent brain damage is often common because developing brain cells and neurons become malformed from the alcohol exposure.

As the child ages, he or she can show other emotional, physical, mental and/or behavioral problems. This can cause attention-deficit disorder, poor memory, poor cause-effect reasoning and impulsive behavior.

Unlike at other times in life, the fetal brain is constantly developing, meaning there is no "safe" time to drink alcohol while pregnant.

Head to AOL Health to learn more about fetal alcohol syndrome.

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AdviceMama Says:
Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.