Prenatal Care

Topics: Pregnancy, Fetal alcohol syndrome, Childbirth Pages: 4 (1233 words) Published: April 23, 2013
taHeavy drinking by pregnant women can be devastating to offspring. Fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD) are a cluster of abnormalities and problems that appear in the offspring of mothers who drink alcohol heavily during pregnancy. The abnormalities include facial deformities and defective limbs, face, and heart (Klingenberg & others, 2010). Most children with FASD have learning problems and many are below average in intelligence with some that are mentally retarded (Dalen & others, 2009). Recent studies revealed that children and adults with FASD have impaired memory development (Coles & others, 2010; Pei & others, 2008). Another recent study found that children with FASD have impaired math ability linked to multiple regions of the brain (Lebel & others, 2010). Although many mothers of FASD infants are heavy drinkers, many mothers who are heavy drinkers do not have children with FASD or have one child with FASD and other children who do not have it. The 1990s is witnessing the significant impact alcohol-related birth defects are having on our society. These birth defects are caused by maternal use of alcohol during pregnancy which are irreversible, yet preventable. The most severe outcome, fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS), to the less easily diagnosed fetal alcohol effects (FAE). The incidence of FAS is estimated at .33 per 1,000 live births. The estimated incidence of FAE is three times that of FAS. With an annual cost of $76.4 million in the United States which only includes FAS, not FAE. The bulk of these costs are associated with mental retardation. It impacts the family, education system, health system and social services in general, as well as individual losses. FAS is considered the most common known cause of mental retardation in the Western World. For a positive diagnosis of FAS, in addition to a history of maternal alcohol use during pregnancy, each of the following three categories must be present: 1. slow growth before and after...
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