Children of Alcoholic Moms Born with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder

According to the American College of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, parental exposure to alcohol is the most common cause of birth defects in the 21st century. The serious and negative effects of alcohol during pregnancy not only disrupt the development of foetus but also make the baby born with severely damaged brain and behavioural aspects. However, the effects of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder can be prevented by completely avoiding alcohol consumption during the phase of pregnancy.

What is Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD)

The ingestion of alcoholic beverage during pregnancy directly affects the child in the womb. When the alcohol passes across the placenta to the foetus, which exposes the child in the womb to the risk of serious birth defects.  When the alcohol enters into the womb, the developing foetus is unable to process it in the same way as an adult does. The concentrated alcohol, thus stays in the placenta and hinders the normal flow of nutrition and oxygen into the foetus’ vital organs. Sometime, a small amount of alcohol can also cause permanent damage to the child, leading to unfortunate miscarriage.

FASD is, however an umbrella term used for all kinds of birth defects, especially formed due to alcohol consumption.  FASDs can be classified into the following types:

  • Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS)
  • Partial Fetal Alcohol Syndrome
  • Alcohol-related Birth Defects
  • Neurodevelopment Disorder
  • Neurobehavioral Disorder

Symptoms of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders

Children affected with FASD can experience, vision and hearing disorders, disrupted memory, impaired attention and acute disabilities to learn and communicate. The severity of these symptoms can be mild, but they can often turn disastrous, when the following conditions come into play:

  • When the child is born with an unnaturally small head
  • Abnormal facial features
  • Abnormalities in height and weight
  • Delayed analytical and logical skills
  • Chronic cardiac problems
  • Renal abnormalities and kidney disorders
  • Deformed limbs or fingers
  • Frequent mood swings

Diagnosis and Future Prognosis

The diagnosis of FASD is pretty difficult at times, especially due to the similarities of these symptoms with other common problems. However, there are certain warning signs that clearly indicate about the disease. Talk to your paediatrician and take your child for a physical exam, if your baby experience some cardiac disorders. Cardiac problems are first to show up in this case; the other symptoms come into play during the growing years.

Treatment of FASD

While the disease is mostly incurable, children with FASD exhibits can have palliative treatments for certain symptoms. However, that surely needs an early diagnosis.  Special treatments and speech therapies at times work wonders for treating toddlers.

FASD is simply incurable and in most cases, when the disease is determined the patient has least chance to improve. So, there’s basically no treatment to deal with this. The only thing a mom can do is completely avoid the alcohol during the months of  pregnancy.