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Fetal Alcohol Syndrome

             When women drink during pregnancy or are intoxicated during delivery they put their child at great risk. There are many problems that may occur if a mother chooses to drink while she is pregnant. A mother could cause her child to have Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, Fetal Alcohol Effects, Alcohol Related Birth Defects, and in some cases death. All of these problems are completely preventable if a mother abstains from alcoholic beverages during her entire pregnancy.
             Women who drink heavily before they become pregnant usually continue to drink while they are pregnant. Approximately 3.3 percent of women consume two or more alcoholic drinks a day, (Thomas pg47). When pregnant women use alcohol it could interfere with the development of her fetus. The leading identifiable cause of mental retardation is Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. When a mother drinks alcohol it passes through .
             the placenta interfering with the ability for the fetus to receive sufficient nourishment and oxygen for normal cell development in the brain and other body organs. When a pregnant woman chooses to drink she is also making a choice for her child to drink. If the mother's blood alcohol level is 0.2 so is her child's. Since the mother's liver is mature it acts to detoxify the alcohol but her child's liver is not yet mature so as she would only be .
             drunk for a couple hours her fetus would stay drunk for a couple of days. Symptoms could include but are not limited to growth retardation of the fetus. Alcohol causes more damage to the baby than any other drug known. In the US 5,000 babies are born with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome each year. More American babies are born with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome than with Down Syndrome, MD, and HIV combined, (www.come-over.). .
             Some women who drink while they are pregnant have spontaneous abortions, commonly known as miscarriages. Due to alcoholic exposure babies can also be born at low birth weight, birth length, and with small head circumferences.

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