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Fetal Alcohol Syndrome

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The Effects of Alcohol Consumption during Pregnancy

The Effects of Alcohol Consumption during Pregnancy

When a pregnant mother consumes alcohol; so does her unborn developing child. “Government Warning: According to the Surgeon General, women should not drink alcoholic beverages during pregnancy because of the risk of birth defects” (Balatbat, 2005, p.110). When a mother drinks during pregnancy the alcohol is in the blood. The alcohol travels through the placenta to the fetus through the umbilical cord, thus causing damaging complications such as fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD). According to "National Organization on Fetal Alcohol Syndrome" (2001-2004), “Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD) is an umbrella term describing the range of effects that can occur in an individual whose mother drank alcohol during pregnancy. These effects may include physical, mental, behavioral, and/or learning disabilities with possible lifelong implications” (Facts About FAS/FASD). Drinking alcohol during pregnancy is harmful to the developing fetus because it can cause mental retardation, physical deformity, and central nervous system damage.
First, mental retardation is one of the most common characteristics of fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD). Drinking during pregnancy has a damaging effect on unborn children, which can cause major social and emotional effects to the child’s life; this cannot be out grown or treated. Women who consume alcohol during pregnancy sometimes do not know they are pregnant, but on the other hand some woman that are aware choose to continue to drink throughout their pregnancy. According to National Organization on Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (2001-2004), “FASD is the leading known preventable cause of mental retardation and birth defects, and a leading known cause of learning disabilities.” If women stop drinking alcohol during pregnancy,

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