What is Fetal Alcohol Syndrome

Fetal alcohol syndrome refers to the affect that prenatal exposure can cause to an unborn child.  It can cause mental retardation as well as birth defects. 

Fetal alcohol syndrome is a lifelong disabling condition.  Fetal alcohol syndrome can be recognize by the following characteristics:





–  Abnormal facial features

–  Growth deficiencies

–  Central nervous system problems.

People with fetal alcohol syndrome often have problems with learning, memory, communication, attention span, vision and hearing.  They will often be small in stature in relation to their peers, have poor coordination, be hyperactive, show speech and language delays, sleep and sucking disturbances in infancy and have poor reasoning and judgment skills.

There is no "cure" for fetal alcohol syndrome.  However, fetal alcohol syndrome is completely preventable.  If a woman does not drink alcohol while she is pregnant or could become pregnant, her baby cannot have fetal alcohol syndrome. If a woman is drinking during pregnancy, it is never too late for her to stop. The sooner a woman stops drinking, the better it will be for both her baby and herself. If a woman is not able to stop drinking, she should contact her physician, local Alcoholics Anonymous or local alcohol treatment center, if needed.

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