Alcohol (wine, beer, or liquor) is the leading known preventable cause of mental and physical birth defects in the United States.
When a woman drinks alcohol during pregnancy, she risks giving birth to a child who will pay the price — in mental and physical deficiencies — for his or her entire life.
Yet many pregnant women do drink alcohol. It's estimated that each year in the United States, 1 in every 750 infants is born with a pattern of physical, developmental, and functional problems referred to as fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS), while another 40,000 are born with fetal alcohol effects (FAE).
Signs and Symptoms
If you adopted a child or consumed alcohol during pregnancy and are concerned that your child may have FAS, watch for characteristics of the syndrome, which include:
How Much Alcohol Is Too Much?
It's clear that abusing alcohol during pregnancy is dangerous, but what about the occasional drink? How much alcohol constitutes too much during pregnancy?
No evidence exists that can determine exactly how much alcohol ingestion will produce birth defects. Individual women process alcohol differently
Although FAS is easily recognizable, FAE (Fetal Alcohol Effects) and ARND (Alcohol-Related Neuro-development Disorder) can occur with occasional use of alcohol. Often, in kids with FAE or ARND, the behavior can appear as mere belligerence or stubbornness. They may score well on intelligence tests, but their behavioral deficits often interfere with their ability to succeed. Extensive education and training for the parents, health care professionals, and teachers who care for these kids are essential.
Prevention Is the Key
FAS, FAE and ARND can be completely prevented by not drinking any alcohol during pregnancy.
FAS SUPPORT GROUPS IN WISCONSIN