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Alcohol and Pregnancy

What-to-Avoid-During-Pregnancy

It’s important to understand that alcohol can affect an unborn child’s development.

When you drink alcohol while pregnant, regardless of the amount, it crosses the placental barrier and circulates through your baby’s system.

However, alcohol stays in your baby’s system longer than it stays in your system. This is because you have a fully formed liver, which can metabolise alcohol. Your baby’s liver is still forming, so it can’t process alcohol properly.

The level of harm that alcohol does to your baby is dependent on the amount and frequency of alcohol consumption. Your age, your overall health and your environment will also influence how alcohol affects your little one.

What is FASD?

FASD is a type of permanent, irreversible brain damage. It is also the broad term for a number of alcohol-related disorders in babies, including:

  • Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS)
  • Partial Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (PFAS)
  • Alcohol Related Neurodevelopmental Disorders (ARND)
  • Alcohol Related Birth Defects (ARBD)

The most severe consequence of drinking alcohol while pregnant is FAS.

Symptoms of FASD

FASD disorders can affect your baby physically, developmentally and behaviorally. FAS, is the most extreme case of FASD. It is characterized by babies with deformed facial features, including:

  • Unusually small eye openings
  • Flat cheekbones
  • Flattened groove between nose and upper lip
  • Excessively thin upper lip

All FASD disorders affect the behavior and mental development of babies and cause issues like:

Treatment for FASD

Unfortunately, there is no cure or specific treatment for babies born with FASD. The physical, mental and behavioral deficiencies typically stay with them for a lifetime.

However, when diagnosed early there are ways that professionals, family and friends can help reduce the severity of some symptoms.

Early intervention is the best chance for young children with FASD to improve their life experience.

Helpful services for a child affected with FASD might involve:

  • A specialized team of professionals, such as an occupational therapist, a special education teacher, a psychiatrist and a speech therapist
  • Special services at primary and high school to help with learning and behavioral problems
  • Medications to help with some symptoms

Helpful services for you and your partner might involve:

  • One-on-one counselling to assist in dealing with any issues that your family my face which are related to FASD
  • Treatment for you if you suspect that you may have an underlying problem with limiting alcohol consumption
  • Parenting classes to help improve your lifestyle choices and prevent future pregnancies from being affected by alcohol consumption.

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The information published herein is intended and strictly only for informational, educational, purposes and the same shall not be misconstrued as medical advice. If you are worried about your own health, or your child’s well being, seek immediate medical advice. You should never delay seeking medical advice, disregard medical advice, or discontinue medical treatment because of information on this website. Kimberly-Clark and/ or its subsidiaries assumes no liability for the interpretation and/or use of the information contained in this article. Further, while due care and caution has been taken to ensure that the content here is free from mistakes or omissions, Kimberly-Clark and/ or its subsidiaries makes no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information here, and to the extent permitted by law, Kimberly-Clark and/ or its subsidiaries do not accept any liability or responsibility for claims, errors or omissions.

 

 

 

 

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