The severity of fetal alcohol syndrome symptoms varies, with some children experiencing them to a far greater degree than others. Signs and symptoms of fetal alcohol syndrome may include any mix of physical defects, intellectual or cognitive disabilities, and problems functioning and coping with daily life. Women who are pregnant or who are trying to get pregnant should not drink any amount of alcohol. Pregnant women with alcohol use disorder should join a rehabilitation program and be checked closely by a health care provider throughout pregnancy. Fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS) is a collection of growth, mental, and physical problems that may occur in a baby when a mother drinks alcohol during pregnancy.

Caregivers must be given information about what to expect from the infant and should be provided with guidance in managing behaviours. Interpersonal skills tend to be impaired (34) and behaviour problems are common (Table 2). Children with FAS and/or atypical FAS are excessively friendly, even to strangers, and lack the ability to discriminate between friends, family and strangers.

Differential Diagnosis

If you’ve already consumed alcohol during pregnancy, it’s never too late to stop. Brain growth in the fetus takes place throughout pregnancy, so stopping alcohol consumption as soon as possible is always best. There isn’t a direct test for FAS and pregnant people may not give a complete history of all alcohol intake during pregnancy. It’s also recommended that you avoid beverages containing alcohol when you’re trying to become pregnant. Many people don’t know they’re pregnant for the first few weeks of pregnancy (four to six weeks).

As a part of the traditional Aboriginal society, mother and baby are considered parts of a larger circle that involves partners, families and communities (47). Identifying the atrisk women should be done in this context so that sympathetic support and treatment can be mobilized easily. Prevention of FAS can help reduce the costs of healthcare and, more importantly, ensure that the children will have a better quality of life and normal functioning. Besides affecting the fetus, alcohol can induce the risk of spontaneous abortions, preterm delivery, placental abruption, stillbirth, and amnionitis. In 2019, CDC researchers found that 1 in 9 pregnant people drank alcohol in a 30-day period of time. Using the information that is available, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and other scientists estimate less than 2 cases of FASD in every 1,000 live births in the United States.

Treatment / Management

Other studies of fetal alcohol syndrome suggest that early diagnosis improves the prognosis because implementation of early intervention programs occurs at a younger age. This statement describes the diagnosis of FAS, partial or atypical FAS, alcohol-related birth defects and alcohol-related neurodevelopmental disorder. These features are best quantified with the use of a four-digit diagnostic method. Prevention of fetal alcohol syndrome is the responsibility of all healthcare workers. The composition diagnostic team varies based on the age of the patient. When evaluating a patient for fetal alcohol spectrum disorders, each of the five conditions that comprise fetal alcohol spectrum disorders has specific diagnostic criteria.

  • Quit drinking if you are trying to get pregnant or if you think you’re pregnant.
  • Be consistent in response and routine so that the child believes the world is predictable.
  • Still, it is a good idea to
    limit alcohol consumption while providing breast milk to your baby because alcohol can pass through your milk to your baby.
  • The frustration level is often very high and caregivers need respite.

Such programs may focus on improving a child’s behavior with early education and tutoring. Medicine may help a child’s attention problems or hyperactive behaviors. Over time, your child may get help from special education programs and social services.