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Essay – Fetal Alcohol Syndrome

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    How does alcohol affect the unborn baby? What kinds of effects may result in the child

    and it will it affect it for the rest of his or her life? Whenever you take a drink, the

    alcohol readily crosses the placenta and enters the babies bloodstream. However the

    babies tiny developing system is not equipped to handle alcohol and is effected much

    more severely than is the mother. Every time you take a drink the unborn baby takes a

    drink as well. Nobody really knows how much alcohol it takes to harm an unborn baby.

    As the consumption increases so do the risks.

    Another report suggests that not only can alcohol cause birth defects it can also

    create leukemia. This new study included six hundred eleven children younger than

    eighteen months old, two hundred fifty of who had leukemia.

    Alcohol and pregnancy do not mix. Almost any level of consumption of alcohol

    can affect the baby during pregnancy. Many sorts of consequences vary from fetal

    alcohol syndrome to malfunctions in mental or physical development. Fetal Alcohol

    Syndrome is patterns in of malfunctions and disabilities resulting from the pregnant

    mother drinking. Heavy drinking on a consistent basis or binge drinking on an

    occasional basis can cause F.A.S.. Fetal Alcohol Syndrome is currently the leading cause

    of mental retardation in the United States. The effects of F.A.S. are not always so

    drastic. Children are born with less dramatic physical defects. Often though, many

    individuals with this may look quite normal but may have significant deficits. Such

    deficits as intellectual, behavioral, and social behaviors. All of these problems may and

    will prevent the children being born with F.A.S. or alcohol related birth defects from

    Drinking early in the pregnancy even before the woman knows she is pregnant

    increases the chance of having a baby with growth deficiency or birth defects. Forty four

    percent of woman who drink heavily during pregnancy will have a child with Fetal

    Alcohol Syndrome. Of the other fifty six percent, some will have effects such as minor

    learning and behavioral difficulties.


    A mothers nutritional status and physical well being may also play roles whether

    or not the baby can be affected, and to what degree. Also important the less exposure to

    the fetus the better off it will be. When it is exposed over time daily or on an hourly

    basis is of vital importance. Many other factors may easily affect the unborn baby. Birth

    defects can easily range from being a small defect or a serious problem which will

    always affect the babies life. One example of this is the amount of alcohol the pregnant

    woman can consume. The time also plays a huge role on affecting the babies status.

    Obviously, the earlier the mother drinks in the pregnancy the faster and easier you can

    damage the fetus. Either way drinking at any time during the pregnancy can affect the

    baby it’s just a matter of how much. Drinking the day you become pregnant or the day

    before the delivery depending on the amount of alcohol that was consumed can badly

    affect the unborn baby. Another thing that birth defects are dependent on are individual

    factors of the mother and the unborn child. The mothers body may also be weak with the

    alcohol letting it affect the baby a lot faster. Plus, the baby may be very weak itself either

    from alcohol or other factors like smoking . Thus causing the baby to become weak or

    developing F.A.S.. Other genetic factors or nutritional factors also play a big role on how

    the baby is going to be. These individual factors are very critical because doctors cannot

    tell a pregnant woman how much would be safe drink. The only way to prevent F.A.S.

    and F.A.E. is for a pregnant woman to abstain from the use of alcoholic beverages during


    Having a baby born with F.A.S. or a problem because of the alcohol can lead to

    many physical, cognitive and social deficits associated with F.A.S.. Another very

    important problem is pre-mature birth . Also miscarriages is also a possibility which

    must not be fun for the mother or the family. The pre-mature baby will most definitely

    have problems that can persist throughout adulthood. Some of these problems are

    stunted and slowed growth. The baby may also have lower set facial features. The child

    may also have a failure to thrive. It may not want to eat and may not grow well. The

    baby may also develop poor wake and sleep patterns. It may be hyperactive or attention

    deficits lead to temper tantrums. Poor social skills and poor abstracting abilities are also

    defaults in the unborn baby or child’s life. If a mother to breast feed should not drink

    until the babies are weaned, since alcohol passes from the milk to the baby.

    “Many things we need we can wait, the child cannot. Now is the time his bones

    are being formed, his blood is being made, his mind is being developed. To him we

    cannot say tomorrow, his name is today.”


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