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Foetal Alcohol Syndrome

The effects of alcohol consumption by a pregnant woman on her fetus are alarming. Foetal alcohol syndrome (FAS)refers to the distressing features observed in babies who have been exposed to alcohol before birth. In fact in some cases, the baby stands a risk of dying before birth. Alcohol crosses the placental barrier into the baby's bloodstream. It can reduce the amount of oxygen available to the growing fetus and lead to nutritional deficiency too. There may be retarded growth of brain cells. When a child suffers lesser symptoms due to maternal alcohol consumption, it is referred to as FAE - Foetal Alcohol Effect.


One of the most common features of a child suffering from Fetal Alcohol syndrome is low birth weight. The infant may have small eyes and flattened face. The head circumference is smaller than average. There might be heart defects. Foetal alcohol syndrome is not always diagnosed at birth. It may be diagnosed when there is a learning or growth problem. Babies suffering from FAS tend to have low IQ and learning difficulties. The child is at increased risk for behaviour and mental health issues. There are cases of cleft palate deformity and joint abnormalities in children born to mothers who consume large quantities of alcohol during their pregnancy. It is advisable for pregnant women to refrain from alcohol during their pregnancy to avoid FAS and FAE among their offsprings. It can lead to a lifetime of impaired mental and physical growth.

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Collection of Pages - Last revised Date: September 23, 2019