Fetal alcohol exposure is a condition that describes what happens to an unborn child when an expectant mother drinks during her pregnancy. Popular wisdom has long acknowledged that pregnant women should not consume alcohol of any kind, but the reality is that many pregnant women do drink some amount of alcohol at some point during her pregnancy.
This is extremely dangerous to an unborn child and can lead to very serious health issues that may affect a child for the rest of their life. Here are a few of the dangerous side effects of fetal alcohol exposure.
One serious risk that children born with fetal alcohol syndrome may be at a risk of suffering from us developmental disorders. These are wide ranging and can include things like Down’s Syndrome, processing disorders, cognitive function disorders, or disorders that impact a child’s physical growth, just to name a few.
There is no telling exactly what kind of disorders may be caused by a fetus being exposed to alcohol, but these disorders often have a huge impact on a child’s performance in school, and are generally incurable and may stay with a child their entire life.
Social and Emotional Disorders
Children who are exposed to alcohol in the womb are also subject to suffering from emotional disorders that may make it difficult for them to process basic emotions. This often has a detrimental impact on a child’s ability to form healthy relationships in childhood and into adult life.
This can pose a risk to healthy romantic relationships in adulthood. It also often leads to an inability to hold a job or to form meaningful professional relationships, which can lead to a lifetime of financial and social problems.
The Impact of Fetal Alcohol Exposure Can Vary
It is very difficult to predict how a mother’s alcohol use will impact her unborn child. A number of other factors determine the degree to which a fetus will be harmed by alcohol use. These factors can include things like a mother’s general stress levels, whether she is receiving adequate medical attention, whether she is eating nutritious foods, and whether she is experiencing depression.
Because no two mothers are alike and the risks of fetal alcohol exposure are so great, doctors advise all expectant mothers to abstain completely from alcohol. It is often difficult to gauge how severe the effects of alcohol abuse will be until it is too late.
Some birth defects caused by fetal alcohol exposure may not become evident as soon as a child is born. They may manifest themselves later in infancy or even become more pronounced in early childhood.
Expectant Mothers Who Are Drinking Should Stop and Seek Help Immediately
A pregnant woman who is drinking should seek treatment right away. The sooner a mother stops drinking, the higher the chances that her child will be born with less severe birth defects. It is absolutely vital to the well being of an unborn child that a mother does not consume alcohol at all.
Family members of expectant mothers should do whatever they can to support their loved one’s treatment. There is no such thing as a safe amount of alcohol to drink in pregnancy.
As with any other type of addiction, alcoholism is a disease, and it is important not to blame an alcoholic for her reckless behavior, but rather to encourage her to seek help for she and her child immediately. Drinking while pregnant is simply too big a risk for a mother to engage in. Its effects can truly impact her unborn child over the course of their entire life.photo credit: Ⅿeagan via photopin cc