What is FAS?

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Fetal Alcohol Syndrome

FAS are the abbreviation for Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. FAS comprise various disorder s that babies born by women who consume alcohol while pregnant suffer from. These disorders can be anything from mild to fatal and may be physical, behavioral, learning or a combination of all these. Persons who suffer from FAS may experience challenges associated to hearing, attention span, vision and ability to communicate and learn. Though these defects differ from one individual to another, the damaged caused is usually long-term.

How FAS Occurs

When a woman consumes alcohol during pregnancy, some of the alcohol permeates the placenta and reaches the fetus. The body of a growing fetus is not capable of processing alcohol like an adult’s body would. This is because alcohol is too complex for the fetus. As a result, the alcohol starts getting concentrated inside the fetus preventing passage of oxygen and nutrition. This damage can happen early in a pregnancy before a woman even knows she is pregnant. Where the pregnant woman drinks heavily, the risk is much higher. Though alcohol consumption is generally harmful throughout pregnancy, studies show that it is most detrimental during the first 12 weeks.

Symptoms of FAS

Because FAS is a condition that manifests through a broad range of health problems, there are tell-tale signs that range from severe to mild symptoms. In many cases, babies with this condition show symptoms like a tiny head, low birth weight, height that is below average, a smooth fold between the nose and upper lip, thin upper lip, tiny eyes or other uncommon facial features, hyperactivity, poor coordination, lack of focus, delayed development e.g. speech, social skills, thinking and movement. The condition may also be manifested in poor judgment, sight or hearing problems, mental retardation, kidney abnormalities, learning challenges and heart problems. The baby may also exhibit mood swings and have deformed fingers or limbs.