Thursday, 30 August 2012

What is Foetal Alcohol Syndrome?

Most of you will have absolutely no idea what Foetal Alcohol Syndrome is, but let me tell you it destroys lives, over and over and over.

Foetal Alcohol Syndrome (Fetal Alcohol Syndrome in the US) or FAS is simply caused when a pregnant mother drinks alcohol.

The alcohol passes to the baby through the umbilical cord and the foetus is not capable of dealing with the alcohol it has received.

Nobody knows how much or how little will affect any one child.

In short, a baby whose brain cannot take the alcohol, will literally be fried to a level where developmental milestones will be impaired.

Drinkers take a chance. They might be lucky, but they might not be.

What kind of a risk is that to take with a growing baby?

I believe a lot of FAS children are incorrectly diagnosed with other disorders because parents don't want to admit that the glass of wine they had every night at dinner might have been too much for their child's brain to cope with.

FAS is the more definitive version of the condition. At this level, there are usually quite severe symptoms with possible facial signs that the child has been affected.

The baby might be small and not developing properly.

As they grow, they may sit unresponsive, or they could become at the very extremes of hyperactivity, with absolutely zero ability to self regulate behaviour.

FAE (Foetal Alcohol Effect) is the milder form. I say milder, but really, it's devastating for the child.

Their brains will struggle with short term memory recall.

They may struggle to understand concepts, to comprehend deep meanings to things and may take things literally (in a similar way that Autistic children do).

They may have sugar cravings, or be hyperactive, get unrealistically angry for no apparent reason, and have difficult controlling their temper.

Would you want to take the risk with a baby on the way?

Melaina from Transatlantic Blonde put it succinctly a couple of years ago with this statement.

"there was never a baby born with foetal alcohol to a mother who didn't drink alcohol."

I will be writing much much more about this in the near future.

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