What is Fetal Alcohol Syndrome?

what is fetal alcohol syndrome

Fetal Alcohol Syndrome is a common problem, with an estimated 24 to 48 children affected by it for every 1000 born. It is, fortunately, completely avoidable. If a pregnant woman does not consume alcohol during her pregnancy, her child will not be born with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. 

What Is Fetal Alcohol Syndrome? 

Fetal Alcohol Syndrome is a series of disorders that may occur in people exposed to alcohol in the womb. These disorders can be in the brain, causing learning and behavioral problems, or in the body, causing growth and development issues. (CDC) 

Being exposed to alcohol while developing in the mother’s body can harm the development of the central nervous system in the fetus. This system affects the growth of every part of the body during gestation. Damage to the central nervous system during fetal development can have drastic and long-term effects on the child. 

What Are the Symptoms of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome? 

Fetal Alcohol Syndrome symptoms are varied and may take years to present themselves. In general, the following problems may be associated with a child that was exposed to alcohol during development: 

  • Problems with vision, hearing, and balance 
  • Learning difficulties include an inability to concentrate, disorganized thinking, and problems with memory. 
  • Poor social skills 
  • Poor control of emotions 
  • Poor impulse control 
  • Hyperactivity 
  • Problems with speech and communication 
  • Disfigurement or dysfunction of joints, bones, and internal organs 

When Does Alcohol Affect a Fetus? 

The general consensus is that it is never safe for a woman to drink alcohol while pregnant. Not enough is known about why or how alcohol affects the unborn child to say that it is ever safe to be drinking while pregnant. 

The most dangerous time for women to consume alcohol while pregnant is during the first trimester. This is when the central nervous system is developing, and the presence of alcohol can do the most damage. 

Alcohol and Pregnancy: Just One Drink Is Not Okay 

Current research suggests that consuming even one drink during pregnancy can have long-term adverse effects on the developing fetus. This is in direct contrast to the belief of many women that limiting alcohol consumption is enough to prevent the problems associated with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. 

Fetal Alcohol Syndrome is an entirely preventable condition. Women must understand the potentially disastrous consequences of consuming even small amounts of alcohol while pregnant. If they cannot stop drinking on their own, they should seek professional help to protect the health and well-being of their developing child. 

Canyon Crossing Recovery Can Help 

Canyon Crossing Recovery provides a safe place for women battling an addiction to take control of their lives and defeat their addictions. Our women’s-only live-in facility provides activities, therapies, and female camaraderie, all geared toward helping each individual woman beat her addiction and learn to be comfortable in her own skin. 

The staff at Canyon Crossing understands the importance of preventing pregnant women from drinking and will give the extra attention required to ensure that both the mother and the child have their best chance of a happy and fulfilling life. Contact us today to learn more about how Canyon Crossing Recovery can help battle alcoholism or other chemical dependencies. 

Benefits of Residential AddictionTreatment

You cannot heal in the same environment that made you sick. This is the philosophy behind our residential addiction treatment program. At Canyon Crossing, women learn to live life on life’s terms while staying in a safe, substance-free setting. This gives our clients the space and peace needed for lasting recovery.
Our residential program combines high-accountability sober living arrangements with first-rate clinical care. While staying in our homes, clients participate in process groups, one-on-one counseling sessions, and hands-on learning opportunities. They also receive ongoing training; in these meetings, life skills like financial management and conflict resolution are imparted. All of this happens with 24/7 encouragement, guidance, and supervision from our clinical team.
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