Alcoholism and Fetal Development

Topics: Pregnancy, Fetal alcohol syndrome, Prenatal development Pages: 7 (1277 words) Published: July 26, 2014

Alcoholism and Fetal Development
Infant and Toddler Development

Children that are born with Fetal alcohol syndrome are born to the mothers that are alcoholics and continue to drink every day while pregnant. If alcohol is consumed everyday in large amounts it will have an effect on the unborn fetus. These effects can be from physical and mental issues before and after birth. The effects can continue to develop when the child becomes older. Mental problems are one of the most common affects of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. Some of the physical and mental problem that may be present if a child is born with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome include but are not limited to Growth deficiency, undersized head, Deformities and Abnormalities in facial features, the joint in the hands and feet and learning problems. The first article that has been chosen to review is Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Prevention Research written by J.R Hankin in 2002. According to Hankin (2002) “Drinking during pregnancy which can result in serious birth defects, remains a significant public health problem despite a variety of prevention efforts that have been implemented in recent years” (p.58). This article describes an approach which was called “Protecting the Next Pregnancy Project.” This project targeted women who had drunk very heavily in their previous pregnancy. Women that were asked to be part of this trail were women that drank at least four drinks per week at the time that they became pregnant. Four weeks after the women gave birth they were put into groups that received standard clinical care. The first group was an experimental group that only received a brief intervention. The second group was the control group that had many sessions and was followed up to a five year period. This study involved 300 women that were to be followed up to five years. The method that was used was a cognitive behavioral approach. This approach included five sessions that began one month after birth and continued for one year. These sessions included a counselor that helped the women in this study toward the goal of reducing or stopping the amount of alcohol that they had previously consumed. In addition to the first counseling sessions the first year there were additional sessions over the five year period where the women worked toward the goal of not drinking. The simple advice that was given to the group was that they could have a healthier child if you cut back or completely stop drinking all together. During the five year period 96 of the 300 participants had another child. The investigators found that the women in the experimental group drank significantly less than the women in the control group. According to Hankin (2002) “Unfortunately many women continue to drink during pregnancy. Furthermore, many of the women who continue to drink during pregnancy are at the highest risk for having children with fetal alcohol syndrome and related problems” (p.64). The second article that was chosen was the Psychologists' knowledge and attitudes about fetal alcohol syndrome, fetal alcohol spectrum disorders, and alcohol use during pregnancy. This article was written by Kohout Wedding et al in 2007. According to Wedding (2007) “Despite the high prevalence of FAS, the significant effects of prenatal alcohol exposure on children’s growth and development, and the fact that all FASD cases are potentially preventable, the prevalence of women drinking during pregnancy remains disturbingly high. You can play an important role by delivering preventive messages regarding alcohol use during pregnancy to women of childbearing age” (p.209). This article suggests that there are many providers that that can help prevent the use of alcohol just by giving preventive messages. These messages have shown to have an effect on the patients. A recent survey that was given to over 1,000 obstetricians and gynecologists and was...

References: Hankin, J. R. (2002). Fetal alcohol syndrome prevention research. Alcohol Research and
Health, 26(1), 58-65. Retrieved from
Wedding, D., Kohout, J., Mengel, M. B., Ohlemiller, M., Ulione, M., Cook, K.,
Braddock, S. (2007). Psychologists ' knowledge and attitudes about fetal alcohol
syndrome, fetal alcohol spectrum disorders, and alcohol use during pregnancy.
Professional Psychology: Research and Practice, 38(2), 208-213.
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