Fedal alchol syndrom

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Fecal Alcohol Syndrome

Prenatal exposure to alcoholic beverages is one of the leading preventable causes of birth defects. Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, otherwise known as FAS, is a group of birth defects caused by the consumption of alcoholic beverages during a woman’s pregnancy. Fetal Alcohol Syndrome is the constellation of physical, behavioral, and cognitive abnormalities (American Academy of Pediatrics). Fetal Alcohol Syndrome has many effects. Such effects occurring from Fetal Alcohol Syndrome may include mental retardation, growth deficiencies, facial abnormalities, and learning disabilities (Nevitt 13). Fetal Alcohol Syndrome is one of the leading causes of mental retardation in the United States. It is also the leading reason for mental retardation in the West as well (Nevitt 13). Fetal Alcohol Syndrome has many costs, a child born with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome takes a toll on the entire economy when it comes to paying for their healthcare. On the average, the estimated lifetime cost for a child with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome is around 1.4 million dollars (American Academy of Pediatrics). Approximately 12,000 babies in the United States alone are born with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome every year (Nevitt 13). There is prevention for Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. FAS is 100 percent preventable, the choice of the mother on whether or not she drinks. Her decision effects the entire life of her child.
     There are many different symptoms associated with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. People who have fetal alcohol syndrome usually suffer from having smaller heads, deformed facial features, and abnormal joints and limbs (Mayo Clinic). Babies born with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome tend to weigh less and also tend to be shorter in length (Streissguth 76). Fetal Alcohol Syndrome has many other defects and symptoms.
Fetal Alcohol Syndrome also has effects on the placenta, which is the organ that transfers oxygen and nutrients from the mother, by reducing blood flow to the fetus. This will cause a great loss in oxygen for the fetus (Microsoft). The amount of damage done to the fetus depends on the stage of pregnancy in which the alcohol is consumed. Alcohol consumed earlier in the pregnancy will cause major physical defects. There is a decrease in fetal growth when alcohol is consumed in the third trimester. However, brain damage can occur at any point in the pregnancy (Microsoft). Different effects will appear and change in the baby as they grow.
     Some effects on newborns include: jitteriness, seizures, tremors, weak suck, unpredictable sleeping cycles, and decreased vigorous bodily activities (Streissguth 19). Seizures can occur at any time and can be very serious. Jitteriness and tremors are due to the child’s extreme nervousness and anxiety (Mayo Clinic). Effects developing during infancy will include head banging, body rocking, or neurological dysfunction (Streissguth 19). Their body rocking and head banging is due to their irregular nervous system. When the child enters pre-school age, poor eye-hand coordination develops as well as poor balance, delayed or persevertive language, and signs of their mental retardation start to show (Streissguth 19). The mental retardation starts to play a key role in the baby’s life now because of the migration of the brain cells. This is also due to the small size of their head and small brain capacity (Streissguth 97). Some early school, later school, and adolescence level stages of effects will include attention impairments, learning disabilities, arithmetic disabilities, memory impairments, difficulties with judgment, and poor adaptive functioning (Streissguth 19). Due to their learning disabilities, the average IQ of a person with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome is 65 where the average IQ of a normal person is 100 (Nevitt 25). There are many other statistics now known to doctors about Fetal Alcohol Syndrome.
     Every year the United States pays from $75 million up to $9.7 billion on people with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. 11% of the annual costs of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome is due to the high rate of mental retardation (American Academy of Pediatrics). Today, Fetal Alcohol Syndrome affects one to three of every one thousand births worldwide (Microsoft). The number of mothers drinking during pregnancies continues to rise at alarming rates.
     In 1995, four times as many pregnant women frequently drank compared to the amount recorded in 1991 (American Academy of Pediatrics). 51% of pregnant women between the ages of 18 to 25 have admitted to consuming alcohol with in the past month, while 53% of pregnant women between the ages of 26 to 34 have admitted to consuming alcohol (Fetal Alcohol Syndrome). The numbers of women admitting to binge drinking during their pregnancy are rising just as well. 17% of women between the ages of 18 to 25 and 13 % of women between the ages of 26 to 34 have admitted to binge drinking at one point during their pregnancy (Fetal Alcohol Syndrome). The percentages of women drinking during critical periods of their pregnancies are very high. In a recent national survey over half of the women between the ages of 15 to 44 drank while they were pregnant. 66 % of these women drank while they were in their first trimester, whereas 54 % reported drinking during their third trimester of pregnancy (Fetal Alcohol Syndrome). More cases of children born with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome have been reported in Native Americans and in African Americans than in any other nationalities (American Academy of Pediatrics). A lot of people ask what a safe amount of alcohol can be consumed during pregnancy. Most doctors say that there is no safe amount of alcohol to be consumed during pregnancy, mental retardation can be easily acquired at any point during pregnancy.
     Fetal Alcohol Syndrome usually will only occur in the children of women who drink at least five ounces of absolute alcohol in a week or more. Studies have shown that mothers who are alcoholics or drug addictions have more of a chance to having their children born with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. The study also showed that women who are casual or social drinkers have an easier time abstaining from drinking during pregnancy and have a less chance of their child being born with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (American Academy of Pediatrics). There was a study of 400,000 pregnant women conducted by the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. Over the course of this study, not a single case of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome was found in women who consumed eight and a half or less alcoholic drinks per week (Fetal Alcohol Syndrome). Ann Streissguth states that the following have the same effect on the fetus: a twelve-ounce bottle of beer, a four ounce glass of wine, one ounce of hard liquor, and one half ounce of absolute alcohol. She later goes on stating that a weekly amount of one of those can be consumed with little harm done to the fetus. Many doctors agree with that statement, however, many do not. A doctor from Mayo Clinic states that there is no safe amount of alcohol that may be consumed during pregnancy. He also states that even if it is a small amount, even the recommended amounts, Fetal Alcohol Syndrome and/or mental retardation may still occur. Fetal Alcohol Syndrome is not always a result from the mother; some cases have proven to be transferred from the father.

When the father is a serious alcoholic, traces of the alcohol consumed may be transferred from the father’s sperm (American Academy of Pediatrics). There have been past cases proven where a child can be born with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome when the mother has not consumed even one alcoholic beverage during pregnancy. If the father is an alcoholic, the alcohol content will stay in his body and will be released in his sperm, which effects the fetus right from the beginning. There have only been a few of these cases seen but is still possible. Many people wonder how can Fetal Alcohol Syndrome be stopped from growing to such high numbers.
     There have been many steps made to help reduce the number of children being born with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. The first Surgeon General’s warning came out in 1981 warning women not to drink alcoholic beverages during pregnancy. In 1989, warning labels were required on all alcoholic beverages sold in the United States (Fetal Alcohol Syndrome). Many people were happy with these warning signs. Next, the states themselves tried to help reduce the occurrences of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. As of 1998, nineteen states require alcohol health warning signs to be posted where alcoholic beverages were sold (Fetal Alcohol Syndrome). Many doctors wonder how educated women are on how much harm alcoholic beverages can do to an unborn child during pregnancy. Some think women hear that a drink a day will not harm the baby, while others believe that just one drink may cause Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. If this were true, much of the United States’ population would show signs and symptoms of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. Before mothers drink during pregnancy, they should stop and think about the consequences.
     Some people feel that drinking during pregnancy is a form of child abuse. Some see it as a mother forcing the consumption of alcohol onto their unborn child. Most pregnant women do not realize that the alcohol has more of an effect on the child than it does on them (Streissguth 121). While warning labels have shown to reduce the occurrence of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, some doctors say that labels begin to be overlooked. Some doctors would like to see more noticeable labels or something to attract you attention to the label in hopes that a pregnant woman would happen to see that she is endangering her unborn child (Mayo Clinic). Being born with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome is not something a baby wants; yet for their mother’s mistakes they have to suffer through their birth defects.
     Sometimes when a child is born with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome doctors and nurses have said that they can still smell the alcohol on the baby (Nevitt 20). Doctors can sometimes tell right at birth if a baby is going to be diagnosed with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. In cases where a mother is an alcoholic the baby will not only smell like alcohol, it will be drunk. When they are born drunk, newborns often go through withdrawals. These children are considered addicted, and have a difficult time in their first few months of life (Nevitt 20). There is some hope for these infants. Some cases have proven to where the child will grow and can lead a normal life.
     Fetal Alcohol Syndrome is a disease a person will have for life; however, a child can still succeed. Studies have proven that although they will need longer sheltering and continuous support, a child with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome can get through school and lead a normal life. Many of these people who work through their Fetal Alcohol Syndrome become motivational speakers and will tell first hand what it is like to be born and grow up having Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (Streissguth 129). Adults with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome still have some problems living in the real world. One of the biggest problems seen is with money management (Streissguth 139). People with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome need to be comfortable with asking for help.
     Fetal Alcohol Syndrome has many short term as well as long term effects which have been stated. These effects will continue with the child throughout his or her entire life. The statistics of rising occurrences of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome are shocking, they will continue to grow if women continue to consume alcohol during their pregnancy. Fetal Alcohol Syndrome has proven to mostly effect the children of mothers who are alcoholics, but Fetal Alcohol Syndrome can still be diagnosed in any child who had consumed alcohol through their mother. There is no exact amount of alcohol suggested to be consumed during a pregnancy, the bast solution is to abstain from alcoholic beverages altogether during your pregnancy. A person born with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome will carry this disease throughout their entire life; however, there have been some cases where an adult with Fatal Alcohol Syndrome can still succeed in the real world. Fetal Alcohol Syndrome is a very serious disease that effects twelve thousand babies every year. Mothers take a big risk by consuming alcoholic beverages during pregnancy. The United States Government as well as the Surgeon General has even taken steps in the prevention of mothers drinking during pregnancy. The United States spends a lot of money on these babies every year. Fetal Alcohol Syndrome is a disease that is one hundred percent preventable. The choice is up to the mother on whether she cares enough about her unborn child to stay alcohol free during her pregnancy.

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