Alcohol and Pregnancy
Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder
No-one wants to intentionally harm their baby, but so many people don’t realize that NO amount of alcohol use is safe during pregnancy.
Is Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) the same as Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS)?
There are different types of FASD, and Fetal Alcohol Syndrome is one of them. Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) is a lifelong disability caused by alcohol exposure during pregnancy. FASD (which includes Fetal Alcohol Syndrome or FAS) is the leading known cause of developmental disability and birth defects in the United States. (National Organization on FASD)
What are the Effects of FASD, including FAS?
There are different types of alcohol-related disorders, depending upon the symptoms. Most people associate FASD or alcohol use during pregnancy with birth defects such as abnormal facial features, but this is only seen among people with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. Other serious developmental effects of an FASD include:
- growth defects
- brain damage
- heart, lung and kidney birth defects
- hyperactivity and behavior problems
- attention and memory problems
- poor coordination and motor skill delays
- difficulty with judgement and reasoning
- learning disabilities
- sensory issues
What are secondary conditions?
According to the CDC, FASDs and fetal alcohol syndrome can lead to other disorders, called “secondary conditions.” Secondary conditions are problems that a person is not born with, but might be diagnosed as a result of having a Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder. These include:
- mental health issue
- a disruptive school experience
- legal problems
- inappropriate sexual behavior
- substance abuse