Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder

Topics: Pregnancy, Fetal alcohol syndrome, Embryo, Fetus, Abortion / Pages: 9 (2180 words) / Published: Nov 6th, 2013
How many drinks are appropriate for a woman that is trying to conceive? Most would answer none. The consumption of alcohol can lead to various problems during and after pregnancy. Fetal alcohol spectrum disorder is a condition which leads to various irreversible problems; it is considered to be poisonous because it causes great damage before conception, and most importantly, the developing embryo. The effect on the fetus varies; some are more affected than others. When the alcohol enters the body of a pregnant mother, it enters her bloodstream which travels pass the placenta to the fetus. It takes a significant amount of time for the fetus to absorb the alcohol—therefore, when a pregnant woman drinks heavily, the developing tissues and organs are in extreme risks. Ensuring the prevention of alcohol in pregnant women is immensely important; the child is essentially the one who will pay the price.
Symptoms & Etiology The fetal alcohol spectrum disorder—previously known as fetal alcohol syndrome—contains symptoms that stays with the child for a lifetime. Mental retardation is a serious condition which includes: development delay, growth deficiencies, and damage to the brain and nervous system. It is common sense for a pregnant woman to stop drinking, and “to drink regularly throughout pregnancy, it associates with a wide variety of problems in the offspring” (Murkoff, Eisenberg, & Hathaway, 2002, p. 57). The symptoms that result from this disorder is physical and mental. The physical symptoms include: low birth weight, small head circumference, facial abnormalities—such as small eyes and underdeveloped groove between the nose and upper lip—as well as deformities of joints, limbs, and fingers. The internal symptoms include: organ dysfunction, vision difficulties, hearing problems, and heart defects—such as ventricular septal defect or atrial septal defect. The mental symptoms include: poor co-ordination skills, learning disorders, abnormal behaviour—for example,

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