Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Can Inhibit Infant Development

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fetal alkohol syndromeFetal alcohol syndrome (FAS) is a condition caused by exposure to alcohol before birth. FAS is the leading cause of mental retardation in children.

Besides mental retardation, FAS also causes deformity of the skeleton and major organ systems (especially the heart and brain), growth disorders, central nervous system problems, poor motor skills, death, learning problems, memory problems, social interaction problems, impaired speech, and hearing problems.

There are also facial features that are characteristic of FAS babies, which are small eyes, short nose, or inverted, flat cheeks and thin lips. Although physical appearance fades as the child grows, they still will experience trouble for a lifetime.

Another terms for this condition is fetal alcohol effects (FAE), which is divided into two categories, namely alcohol-related neurodevelopmental disorder (ARND) and alcohol related birth defects (ARBD). ARND describes the mental and behavioral disorders such as learning disabilities, poor school performance, difficulties with impulse control, and problems with memory, and attention.

While ARBD describes deformity of the skeletal system and major organ systems, such as heart defects, kidney, and hearing. Differences between FAS and FAE are that FAS is the result of high doses of alcohol during pregnancy. While the FAE is the result of drinking alcohol during pregnancy. Still, the FAE lasts for life.

In fact there is no safe amount of alcohol which can be consumed during pregnancy. The more alcohol consumed, the higher the risk to infants. Alcohol is teratogen that can damage baby’s development. Alcohol can cross the placenta and enters the fetus. If the mother drinks alcohol, then the baby also drinks it. How to prevent it? of course stop drinking alcohol, including when the mother plans to get pregnant.

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