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What do you think about drinking during pregnancy? Do you know what FAS is? Do you want your child to have FAS? Read on and I believe you will come to the same conclusion as I have about FAS.FAS doesn't sound so bad, but in reality it is. FAS means Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. FAS is a combination of physical and mental defects first evident at a baby's birth. FAS is a direct result of a woman drinking alcohol during pregnancy. These defects continue through out the child's life.
One in five hundred children are born with FAS.Your baby is at risk no matter how much liquor you drink. It doesn't matter if it's beer, wine, or hard liquor. The chemicals in the liquor quickly pass through into the placenta, which means the baby absorbs as much alcohol as you do. Even a small amount of alcohol is harmful to a developing fetus. A baby's blood alcohol concentration is higher then an adults. Therefore, alcohol impairs optimal nutrition for a baby's developing tissues and organs
Alcohol impedes fetal brain development, affects intelligence, learning skills, and behaviour. FAS babies have lower IQ's. The most serious consequence can even cause mental retardation. The more alcohol a pregnant woman drinks, the greater risk it is to the baby. Key stages of development occur in the first trimester.
Parts of development affected during the first trimester are impaired facial features, heart & other organs, bones and central nervous system. The brain develops during all trimesters, therefore; it is affected during the whole pregnancy. Some children experience symptoms in a far greater degree than others. Characteristics of FAS babies:Facial characteristics: Abnormally small head Low or sunken nasal bridge Abnormally small eyes Flat mid-face Short, upturned nose Thin upper lip Small teeth with faulty enamel Other physical characteristics: Permanent brain damage Heart and kidney defects Long-term behavourial problems Growth problems-shorter and smaller size Deformed fingers and toes Deformities of joints, limbs, and fingers Slow physical growth before and after birth Impaired vision Short attention span Hyperactivity Extreme nervousness and anxietyFAS is the most common preventable cause of birth defects. Alcohol produces the most neurobehavourial effects in the fetus than other drugs like cocaine, heroin, or marijuana.
FAS causes irreversible physical, mental, and emotional effects. There is no cure or treatment for FAS and the effects last a lifetime. Between 10,000 and 12,000 new cases of FAS are reported each year and many more go undiagnosed.There is not cure for FAS. Children with FAS can be helped, though. The treatment involves giving them good medical and dental care, and eyeglasses or hearing aids if these are needed, and placing them in special school programs.FAS has the largest incidence of any major birth defect.
In Canada and the United States, of 10,000 births:3 out of 10,000 will have Muscular Dystrophy4 out of 10,000 will have HIV infection4 out of 10,000 will have Cystic Fibrosis8 out of 10,000 will have Spina Bifida10 out of 10,000 will have Down Syndrome20 out of 10,000 will have Fetal Alcohol Syndrome100 out of 10,000 will have Fetal Alcohol Effects (which will probably never be diagnosed)FAS Costs:Some researchers estimate that each individual with FAS costs the taxpayer about $2 million in his or her lifetime, for health problems, special education, psychotherapy and counseling, welfare, crime, and the criminal justice system.Individuals with FAS in Canada will cost the taxpayers about $600 billion during their lifetime.Financially and personally we are all affected by the secondary disabilities of FAS, which are:Learning disabilitiesEarly school drop-outJuvenile delinquencyPovertyChronic UnemploymentSexual acting-out (promiscuity, early pregnancy, prostitution or sexual assault)Mental illnessHomelessnessViolenceCrimes against propertyAlcoholism and addictionLatest News:April 13, 2005: US House of Representatives staff was briefed on the prevention of FAS, the leading cause of Mental Retardation. The event was held over a complimentary lunch in the Rayburn House Office Building. March 16, 2005: Washington: Surgeon General's new advisory against women drinking while pregnant-wake up call for pregnant woman. With the recent update of the 1981 Surgeon General's alcohol advisory against women drinking while pregnant, the call of those fighting for complete abstinence from alcohol during pregnancy is vindicated. March 10, 2005: NOFAS (National Organization on Fetal Alcohol Syndrome) joins the FASD community in mourning the passing of Dave Duncan.
Dave and his wife Janet had been advocates for FAS since their son Michael was diagnosed several years ago. Dave and Janet were always willing to volunteer their time and personal story in support of the NOFAS mission. NOFAS mission statement is "dedicated to eliminating birth effects caused by alcohol consumption during pregnancy and to improving the quality of life for those affected individuals and families." There is a less obvious and seemingly milder fetal alcohol damage is sometimes call Fetal Alcohol Effects (FAE), Alcohol-Related Neurodevelopmental Disorder (ARND), Partial Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (pFAS) or Static Encephalopathy. All these conditions are equally damaging to babies, but are rarely diagnosed. There are three to five times as many people with FAE than FAS.
FAS can be beaten. Prevention programs and treatment programs for alcoholic women could reduce the incidence of FAS. Early diagnosis and new techniques of therapy, medical treatment, education, and residential facilities, could allow people with FAS to lead a positive life and save billions of dollars for the government and us. The best thing you can do to prevent FAS is to stop drinking when you are thinking about getting pregnant. If you get pregnant, quit drinking alcohol and drink other beverages, like water or fruit juice. Even small amounts of alcohol can be harmful. No amount of alcohol can be considered safe when you are pregnant.
"Binge drinking" (5 or more drinks at a time) is very dangerous for the baby because it makes the level of alcohol in your blood very high very quickly.FAS is 100% preventable and that's why when I become pregnant, I will not drink. I'm sure you agree with me that's it's not worth putting anyone's life through FAS because of stupidity. Remember, you are your own liquor control board when it comes to you and your child.Fetal Alcohol Syndrome IndexPage 1 Introduction to FASWhat is FAS? Characteristics of FASPage 2 FAS has the largest incidence FAS costs Financial and personal affectsPage 3 Latest News FAS and FAE facts Prevention of FAS ConclusionsPage 4 BibliographyBibliographyMayo Clinichttp://www.mayoclinic.comSeek Wellnesshttp://www.seekwellness.comFAS Family Resource Institutehttp://fetalalcoholsyndrom.org/Family Doctorhttp://familydoctor.orgWorld Profithttp://worldprofit.com.
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