On any given day in the United States. Twenty of these babies are born with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. Twenty may seem as though it is not a lot, but when you compare it to the fact that this number is more than HIV positive, Muscular Dystrophy, Spina Bifida and Down Syndrome combine it creates a whole new parameter. Fetal Alcohol Syndrome is a direct result of a woman's competed disregard for the fetus.
Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS, hereinafter), is a series of both mental and physical birth defects that can include, but are not limited to, mental retardation, deficiencies in growth, central nervous system dysfunction, behavioral maladjustments, and craniofacial abnormalities.
It is common knowledge not to smoke or drink during pregnancy. .
Growth abnormalities can be significant and also includes all three of the following respects of growth: weight, length and head circumference. Most of the time the baby's growth abnormalities are so severe they need to be hospitalized because of obvious failure to survive. .
A baby with craniofacial abnormalities can be recognized by their eyes in that they are small with exaggerated inner epicanthic folds. (Health Visitor Nov. 1981) The bridge of the nose is normally poorly developed. The ears are often large and simple in form. (Midwives Chronicle and Nursing notes).
At first, when the baby is delivered, the affected infant shows signs of alcohol withdrawal; with signs that are much similar to delirium tremens in adults. They are often anxious, have a weak grasp, poor hand-to-eye coordination and consistent difficulty in feeding and sucking.
People can not blame the mother's for the most part though. It is a common ignorance among the health care providers. Most health care providers are untrained and unfamiliar with substance abuse issues among pregnant women. FAS is widely misdiagnosed and or under diagnosed. Only ten percent of medical schools require students to complete a course on the proper diagnosis of individuals with alcohol and other drug addictions.