If you just found out that you’re pregnant, you’re most likely asking yourself many questions like, “Have I made any lifestyle decisions that impacted my baby?” or “What can I do to make sure my prenatal care serves me and my baby?”
So many unsuspecting mothers ask themselves these questions. They are necessary and good questions to ask that either result in positive outcomes or concerning ones.
Let’s talk about one major concerning outcome for women who make certain lifestyle decisions while they are pregnant that could negatively impact their baby.
Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Disorder (FASD) happens when a baby’s brain is damaged due to alcohol consumption during pregnancy. Furthermore, it’s the most common cause of intellectual disabilities. The damage that occurs in the baby’s brain is pervasive enough to cause defects that can be permanent.
Here are some of the disabilities a baby can inherit as a result of experiencing FASD:
Fetal Alcohol Syndrome is caused when alcohol reaches the fetus as it is developing in the mother’s womb. When a fetus is in utero, their organs are not fully developed yet as they lack the ability to process alcoholic beverages which causes immense damage. The more alcohol a mother consumes, the more she hurts her baby. Alcohol affects a fetus in two ways:
Diagnosis happens after the baby is born where a doctor can measure the extent of the damage. If a pregnant woman has a history of drinking while she’s pregnant, the doctor can examine the baby’s health while she’s still carrying. If the doctor knows that the mother continued to drink alcohol during her pregnancy, they can look for FAS signs by discovering the following:
When the above characteristics are found, the doctor will do brain scans and tests to further diagnose the issue.
Unfortunately, FAS doesn’t have a cure and no one can reverse the damage once it’s occured. Alcohol is pure posion to an unborn baby. A pediatrician can prescribe medication to assist some symptons in the baby. But once a baby is diagnosed with FAS, they will need special attention for the rest of their life.