Effects of Alcohol on Fetus | Blog By Dr. Shilva, Paras Bliss, Panchkula
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Alcohol Effects on a Fetus

Alcohol Effects on a Fetus

by: Dr. Shilva
Sr. Consultant - Obstetrics & Gynecology Paras Bliss, Panchkula

Consuming alcohol during pregnancy can harm the baby. Alcohol passes from the mother’s blood into the blood of the baby and it can cause damage and affect the growth of the baby. Due to the alcohol flow to the brain and spinal cord, the cells in the same are damaged.

Fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD) describes the range of problems related to alcohol exposure before birth. The problems range from mild to severe. With the consumption of alcohol, it can cause the baby to have mental as well as physical problems after the birth and this may last throughout his or her life.

Effects of alcohol on the fetus can include:

  • Distinctive facial features. A child may have a small head, flat face, and narrow eye openings, for instance. This gets more obvious by age 2 or 3 years.
  • Growth problems. Women who consume alcohol can have baby’s smaller than other children of the same age because they are exposed to alcohol.
  • Learning and behavior problems.
  • Birth defects.
  • Problems bonding or feeding as a newborn.
  • If alcohol is consumed heavily during pregnancy can also lead to miscarriage, stillbirth or a baby being born early.

When do the signs of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder appear to show?

During the course of your pregnancy, your baby is in a constant phase of growth and development. During the first four weeks of pregnancy, your baby’s heart, central nervous system, eyes, arms, and legs are beginning to develop. The brain of a baby begins to develop around the third week, and continues to mature through the rest of your pregnancy.

Signs of FASD do not always appear at birth. A doctor may be able to spot severe alcohol effects in the child at birth. There are few more effects the can be problematic with the behavior and learning of the child, but these problems can be noticed only when the child start his or her schooling.

Caring for a child born with alcohol effects takes patience. Help for your child may include extra support in school, social skills training, job training, and counselling. Community services may be able to help your family handle the costs of and emotions from raising your child.

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