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The Long-Term Effects of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome

The Effects of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome

Pregnancy can be a wonderful time, but it is also a time of great vulnerability for both the mother and the unborn child.

Because of the concerns about the health and safety of both, expectant mothers are often warned to avoid certain foods, medicines, and substances, including alcohol. Unfortunately, those with a drinking problem may struggle to detox from alcohol and could be putting their future child at risk. Banyan Treatment Centers Palm Springs is looking at some of the long-term effects of fetal alcohol syndrome and what it could mean for the child that is affected.

What Is Fetal Alcohol Syndrome?

Fetal alcohol syndrome, or FAS, is a preventable condition. It is a series of physical, behavioral, and mental problems in a child that occurs as a result of an expectant mother drinking during pregnancy. Alcohol exposure in the womb can lead to lasting and irreversible damage to a child, and the severity of fetal alcohol syndrome can vary drastically from child to child.

Generally, the damage is worse the more heavily someone drinks, but no amount of drinking during pregnancy is considered safe. It is better for women to stop drinking when they start trying to get pregnant. For women who are alcoholics, it is recommended that they enter an alcohol treatment program at our Palm Springs rehab center and get sober as soon as possible.

FAS Long-Term Effects

The long-term effects of fetal alcohol syndrome can vary, with some children experiencing much more noticeable or more severe problems than others. How serious FAS is may depend on the amount of drinking, frequency of drinking, other substances taken during pregnancy, and the health of the fetus and mother. These problems can also extend to different areas, such as behavioral, cognitive, and physical defects.

Behavioral & Cognitive Effects of FAS

Some children who were exposed to alcohol in the womb will start to display behavioral or cognitive issues as they get older that can be long-lasting. These can have an effect on them in their personal, academic, and eventual professional lives.

Some possible behavioral and cognitive effects of fetal alcohol syndrome include:

  • Low attention span
  • Impulsive
  • Hyperactivity
  • Poor memory
  • Learning disorders
  • Delayed cognitive development
  • Trouble in school
  • Poor social skills
  • Difficulties with problem-solving
  • Poor balance or coordination

Physical Defects From FAS

Many children who suffer from FAS will have noticeable physical birth defects. These distinctive features are another example of the permanent and long-term effects of fetal alcohol syndrome experienced by the child.

Some possible physical effects of fetal alcohol syndrome include:

  • Low body weight
  • Shorter height
  • Smaller head size
  • Deformities in extremities
  • Abnormal facial features
  • Smaller eyes
  • Flattened space between the nose and upper lip
  • Thin upper lip
  • Vision or hearing problems

The Future for a Child With Fetal Alcohol Syndrome

Considering the effects that drinking during pregnancy can have on a child, it should come as no surprise that these disabilities can follow them into adulthood. Fetal alcohol syndrome in adults can result in many of the same issues that affect younger people with this condition. Many of these folks struggle with appropriately responding to social situations, which can also result in lapses in time and financial management, difficulty holding a job, and issues with living independently.

There are, of course, countless people who live happy, successful, fulfilling lives with FAS, but that doesn’t mean it is always easy. The learning disabilities that many experience can mean they have to work that much harder to achieve their goals. That is not to say that they are incapable. Far from it. But any expectant mother that continues to perpetuate her addiction while pregnant is doing a major disservice to her child that can ultimately last a lifetime.

Alcohol can not only be dangerous for an unborn child, but when taken in excess, it can lead to lasting and serious damage for the drinker as well. Our California detox center can help you quit alcohol for good and find lasting sobriety for the sake of yourself and your family.

If you or a loved one struggles with a substance abuse problem, do not wait any longer to get help. Call Banyan Palm Springs today at 888-280-4763.

Related Reading

The Health Consequences of Casual Drinking

How Much Alcohol Causes Fetal Alcohol Syndrome?

Alyssa, Director of Digital Marketing
Alyssa, Director of Digital Marketing
Alyssa is the National Director of Digital Marketing and is responsible for a multitude of integrated campaigns and events in the behavioral health and addictions field. All articles have been written by Alyssa and medically reviewed by our Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Darrin Mangiacarne.
The Long-Term Effects of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome
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