Fetal Alcohol Syndrome
(Alcohol in Pregnancy; Drinking Alcohol During Pregnancy; FAS)
|Blood Traveling Through Mother's Placenta to Baby|
|Alcohol travels through this path and affects the baby's development, particularly the heart and brain.|
|Copyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.|
- Unplanned pregnancy or failing to recognize pregnancy and continuing to drink
- Alcohol use disorder
- Lack of knowledge about the risks of drinking while pregnant
- Low socioeconomic status
- Low birth weight
- Small size and delayed growth
- Small head
- Small eyes
- Short, flat nose
- Flat cheeks
- Small jaws
- Unusually shaped ears
- Thin upper lip
- Shaking or tremors
- Sight and hearing problems
- Heart defects
- Small, abnormally formed brain
- Vision problems
- Difficulty eating and sleeping
- Delayed speech
- Learning disabilities
- Intellectual disability
- Poor coordination
- Behavior problems
- Poor ability to control impulses
- Problems getting along with other children
- History of alcohol use
- Characteristic facial appearance
- Slow growth
- Nervous system problems
- Fetal alcohol effect
- Alcohol related neurodevelopmental disorder
- Providing consistent direction and structure.
- Keeping to routines.
- Establishing simple rules, limits, and consequences.
- Praising desired behaviors.
- Lack of threats and violence. Violence or abuse increases the risk the child will learn to react in a similar fashion. Your child may need special training to learn ways to handle anger.
- Avoid drinking alcohol if you are pregnant or trying to get pregnant. Also, take folic acid to prevent other birth defects.
- Avoid heavy drinking when not using birth control. Damage can occur before you even know you are pregnant.
- Seek help from a doctor if you cannot stop drinking.
- Use birth control until you are able to quit drinking.
National Organization on Fetal Alcohol Syndrome http://www.nofas.org
Greater Toronto Area Intergroup http://aatoronto.org
Women's Health Matters http://www.womenshealthmatters.ca
Chaudhuri JD. Alcohol and the developing fetus—A review. Med Sci Monit. 2000;6(5):1031-1041.
Drinking and your pregnancy. National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism website. Available at: http://pubs.niaaa.nih.gov/publications/DrinkingPregnancy%5FHTML/pregnancy.htm. Accessed June 6, 2016.
Fetal alcohol spectrum disorder. EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at: http://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T114397/Fetal-alcohol-spectrum-disorder. Updated June 10, 2016. Accessed September 28, 2016.
Nayak RB, Murthy P. Fetal alcohol spectrum disorder. Indian Pediatr. 2008;45(12):977-983.
Prenatal exposure to alcohol. Alcohol Res Health. 2000;24(1):32-41.
Thackray H, Tifft C. Fetal alcohol syndrome. Pediatr Rev. 2001;22(2):47-55.
Treatment and support. National Organization on Fetal Alcohol Syndrome website. Available at: http://www.nofas.org/treatments-support. Accessed June 6, 2016.
- Reviewer: Kari Kassir, MD
- Review Date: 06/2016 -
- Update Date: 05/11/2013 -