Risks of Drinking

Since the onset of the COVID19 pandemic, there is an increase in drinking. The impact of this on pregnancy is an issue of importance that need not be overlooked at this time. My guest blogger Patrick Baily (bio listed below) provides us with insight into its impact.

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FAQS about FADS   

Women who are considering having a baby but who also enjoy the occasional drink (or more) should look at more info about fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASDs) and how they can affect their offspring.

Here are some important answers to FAQs about FASDs.

What is a Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder?

According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIH), FASDs are not a single condition but rather an umbrella term that includes several disorders caused by prenatal alcohol exposure.

The Institute of Medicine of the National Academies (IOM) recognizes four diagnostic categories that collectively are labeled FASD. They are:

  • Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS)
  • Partial FAS (pFAS)
  • Alcohol-Related Birth Defects (ARBD)
  • Alcohol-Related Neurodevelopmental Disorder (ARND)
  • Neurobehavioral disorder linked with prenatal alcohol exposure (ND-PAE)

What Causes FASDs?

When a woman drinks during pregnancy, alcohol in her blood passes through the umbilical cord to her baby. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) advises that no amount of alcohol consumption is safe during pregnancy. This includes all types of alcohol, including beer and wines.

For the safety of the developing fetus, it’s recommended that women who are or who may be pregnant, that they avoid alcohol. In part this is because a woman may not be aware she is pregnant for four to six weeks. 

The good news is that it’s never too late to stop drinking during pregnancy. An unborn infant’s brain continues to grow, but the earlier a woman stops drinking the less likely her infant is to sustain FASD later in life.

What Symptoms Can a Person with an FASD Have?

Though no two cases are alike, people suffering from FASD often have difficulties in:

  • Learning and remembering
  • Understanding and following directions
  • Maintaining attention
  • Controlling impulsivity and emotions
  • Communicating and socializing
  • Doing daily life skills such as bathing, feeding, telling time, counting money, and watching personal safety
  • Low body weight
  • Poor coordination
  • Poor memory
  • Language and speech delays
  • Low IQ or intellectual disability
  • Poor judgment and reasoning skills
  • Sucking and sleep problems as a baby
  • Hearing and/or vision problems
  • Problems with the kidneys, heart, or bones
  • Shorter-than-average height
  • Small head size
  • Abnormal facial features, such as a smooth ridge between the upper lip and nose (called the philtrum).

People with FASD are also more likely to exhibit mental disorders such as:

  • Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD
  • Anxiety and/or depression
  • Problems with impulse control, hyperactivity, and conduct
  • Increased prevalence of substance use disorders

Are Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders Common?

It is difficult to determine the exact number of children who have an FASD, but experts estimate at least 40,000 children are born with an FASD each year in the United States. Based on studies of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), up to 8,000 babies may be born with FASDs each year.

Can FASDs Be Treated?

Yes. However, there is no cure. Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders last a lifetime, though early intervention treatments often improve a child’s cognitive and physical development.

Protective factors are:

  • Early diagnosis before six years of age. When children are diagnosed at an early age, they can be placed in suitable educational classes and receive the social services needed to help both them and their families.
  • A nurturing, loving, and stable home environment throughout the school years. Children with FASDs tend to be more sensitive than other children to changes in routines or lifestyle and damaging relationships. Family and community support can work together to prevent secondary conditions, incomplete education, unemployment, and criminal behavior.
  • Absence of violence. A stable, non-abusive household that encourages children to avoid youth violence is essential to positive development. Children who have FASDs require being taught other ways of demonstrating their frustration and/or anger.
  • Involvement in social services and special education. Children are more likely to reach their full potential when placed in special education that is geared towards their specific needs and learning style. There is a large range of learning needs in children with FASDs, and education closely geared to their particular symptoms is essential.

What Types of Treatments are Needed for Those with FASDs?

Children and adults who suffer from an FASD have the same medical and health needs as anyone else. They need early well-baby care, good nutrition, hygiene, vaccinations, and exercise. In addition, they should be monitored for concerns specific to their condition.

Some needed medical specialists might include:

  • Primary care provider
  • Pediatrician
  • Nutritionist
  • Audiologist
  • Physical therapist
  • Neurologist
  • Mental health professionals such as a child psychologist and psychiatrist, and behavior management specialist.
  • Ophthalmologist
  • Gastroenterologist
  • Immunologist
  • Endocrinologist
  • Speech-language pathologist

Medications that are often prescribed for those with FASDs include stimulants, antidepressants, neuroleptics, and anti-anxiety drugs.

Behavior and education therapies tend to be most effective. Some of those are:

  • Good Buddies
  • Families Moving Forward (FMF)
  • Math Interactive Learning Experience (MILE)
  • Parents and Children Together (PACT)

Author Bio: Patrick Bailey is a professional writer mainly in the fields of mental health, addiction, and living in recovery. He attempts to stay on top of the latest news in the addiction and the mental health world and enjoy writing about these topics to break the stigma associated with them. 

FAQS about FADS  

Women who are considering having a baby but who also enjoy the occasional drink (or more) should look at more info about fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASDs) and how they can affect their offspring.

Here are some important answers to FAQs about FASDs.

What is a Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder?

According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIH), FASDs are not a single condition but rather an umbrella term that includes several disorders caused by prenatal alcohol exposure.

The Institute of Medicine of the National Academies (IOM) recognizes four diagnostic categories that collectively are labeled FASD. They are:

  • Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS)
  • Partial FAS (pFAS)
  • Alcohol-Related Birth Defects (ARBD)
  • Alcohol-Related Neurodevelopmental Disorder (ARND)
  • Neurobehavioral disorder linked with prenatal alcohol exposure (ND-PAE)

What Causes FASDs?

When a woman drinks during pregnancy, alcohol in her blood passes through the umbilical cord to her baby. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) advises that no amount of alcohol consumption is safe during pregnancy. This includes all types of alcohol, including beer and wines.

For the safety of the developing fetus, it’s recommended that women who are or who may be pregnant, that they avoid alcohol. In part this is because a woman may not be aware she is pregnant for four to six weeks.

The good news is that it’s never too late to stop drinking during pregnancy. An unborn infant’s brain continues to grow, but the earlier a woman stops drinking the less likely her infant is to sustain FASD later in life.

What Symptoms Can a Person with an FASD Have?

Though no two cases are alike, people suffering from FASD often have difficulties in:

  • Learning and remembering
  • Understanding and following directions
  • Maintaining attention
  • Controlling impulsivity and emotions
  • Communicating and socializing
  • Doing daily life skills such as bathing, feeding, telling time, counting money, and watching personal safety
  • Low body weight
  • Poor coordination
  • Poor memory
  • Language and speech delays
  • Low IQ or intellectual disability
  • Poor judgment and reasoning skills
  • Sucking and sleep problems as a baby
  • Hearing and/or vision problems
  • Problems with the kidneys, heart, or bones
  • Shorter-than-average height
  • Small head size
  • Abnormal facial features, such as a smooth ridge between the upper lip and nose (called the philtrum).

People with FASD are also more likely to exhibit mental disorders such as:

  • Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD
  • Anxiety and/or depression
  • Problems with impulse control, hyperactivity, and conduct
  • Increased prevalence of substance use disorders

Are Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders Common?

It is difficult to determine the exact number of children who have an FASD, but experts estimate at least 40,000 children are born with an FASD each year in the United States. Based on studies of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), up to 8,000 babies may be born with FASDs each year.

Can FASDs Be Treated?

Yes. However, there is no cure. Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders last a lifetime, though early intervention treatments often improve a child’s cognitive and physical development.

Protective factors are:

  • Early diagnosis before six years of age. When children are diagnosed at an early age, they can be placed in suitable educational classes and receive the social services needed to help both them and their families.
  • A nurturing, loving, and stable home environment throughout the school years. Children with FASDs tend to be more sensitive than other children to changes in routines or lifestyle and damaging relationships. Family and community support can work together to prevent secondary conditions, incomplete education, unemployment, and criminal behavior.
  • Absence of violence. A stable, non-abusive household that encourages children to avoid youth violence is essential to positive development. Children who have FASDs require being taught other ways of demonstrating their frustration and/or anger.
  • Involvement in social services and special education. Children are more likely to reach their full potential when placed in special education that is geared towards their specific needs and learning style. There is a large range of learning needs in children with FASDs, and education closely geared to their particular symptoms is essential.

What Types of Treatments are Needed for Those with FASDs?

Children and adults who suffer from an FASD have the same medical and health needs as anyone else. They need early well-baby care, good nutrition, hygiene, vaccinations, and exercise. In addition, they should be monitored for concerns specific to their condition.

Some needed medical specialists might include:

  • Primary care provider
  • Pediatrician
  • Nutritionist
  • Audiologist
  • Physical therapist
  • Neurologist
  • Mental health professionals such as a child psychologist and psychiatrist, and behavior management specialist.
  • Ophthalmologist
  • Gastroenterologist
  • Immunologist
  • Endocrinologist
  • Speech-language pathologist

Medications that are often prescribed for those with FASDs include stimulants, antidepressants, neuroleptics, and anti-anxiety drugs.

Behavior and education therapies tend to be most effective. Some of those are:

  • Good Buddies
  • Families Moving Forward (FMF)
  • Math Interactive Learning Experience (MILE)
  • Parents and Children Together (PACT)

Author Bio: Patrick Bailey is a professional writer mainly in the fields of mental health, addiction, and living in recovery. He attempts to stay on top of the latest news in the addiction and the mental health world and enjoy writing about these topics to break the stigma associated with them.

Published by robsim222

I am a speech-language pathologist whose work experience in this industry spans over thirty years in a variety of settings and ages from infants through geriatrics. I also provide training to students on the graduate level, preparing them for entry into the field of speech-language pathology. Insurance accepted: United Healthcare Choice Plus United Healthcare Oxford Freedom Plan Empire Network Private pay welcome. Specialized training and clinical interests include that of working with children on the autism spectrum, those with feeding difficulties, poor oral motor function, those with neurological deficits and/or complex medical problems. PROMPT trained Levels 1 and 2 Autism Spectrum Disorders with the use of the concepts of sensory integration. Feel free to contact me and refer patients to me if you think that I can be of assistance to families within their homes or outside. Thank you! https://www.linkedin.com/in/robin-kahn-2642491b/ https://twitter.com/robsim222

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