Fetal Alcohol Syndrome

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Three behaviors by expectant mothers that can negatively affect normal development of a fetus throughout life are consuming alcohol, smoking cigarettes, and using any kind of drugs. According to the Centers for Disease Control, Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Disorders (FASD’s) are a group of conditions that can occur in a person whose mother drank alcohol during pregnancy. Some of the categories of FASD’s are: Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS,) Alcohol-Related Neurodevelopmental Disorder (ARND,) and Alcohol-Related Birth Defects (ARBD.) ARND is characterized by learning disabilities and behavioral issues. They might have difficulties with numbers, memory, attention, judgment, and also poor impulse control. ARBD is characterized by physical problems, mostly effecting the heart, kidneys, bones, and sometimes hearing troubles. The most severe of all FASD’s is fetal alcohol syndrome. The effects can include physical problems and problems with behavior and learning including abnormal facial features, a small disproportioned head, shorter than average height, central nervous system problems, low body weight, hyperactivity, speech delays, poor memory, vision problems, hearing problems, learning disabilities, and even fetal death (Centers for Disease Control, 2011). Not every child whose mother consumed alcohol is born with FAS, but 1 in 800 are. Fetal alcohol syndrome is completely preventable as long as a woman abstains from drinking during the duration of pregnancy, as there is no known safe amount of alcohol (Myers, 2008). Smoking cigarettes during pregnancy can result in premature birth, birth defects, low birth weight, miscarriage, and has been linked to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). Cigarettes also can cause the placenta (which provides the fetus’ oxygen and nutrients) to separate from the womb too early, which is extremely dangerous for both the fetus and the mother. (Centers for Disease Control, 2013). The use of illicit drugs during pregnancy can impede normal...
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