Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders

Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders: How Alcohol affects the Unborn Baby

A child born to a mother who drank alcohol during pregnancy may develop a range of diseases called FETAL ALCOHOL SPECTRUM DISORDERS (FASDs). It has always been mentioned severally that pregnant women should stay away from alcohol, smoking, and many other things for their children’s sake, but many don’t know why.

Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASDs) are a group of conditions that can occur in a person whose mother drank alcohol during her pregnancy. Children with FASDs are more likely to have trouble in school, have legal problems, participate in high-risk behaviours, and have trouble with alcohol or other drugs in later life.

Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders
Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders

The most severe form of FASD is called Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS). Other types include partial fetal alcohol syndrome (pFAS), alcohol-related neurodevelopmental disorder (ARND) & alcohol-related congenital disabilities (ARBD).


Here’s how it manifests; A child with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) may exhibit these typical symptoms:

  1. Abnormal face and hands
  2. Short height
  3. Low weight
  4. Small head
  5. Poor coordination
  6. Low IQ (mental retardation)
  7. Bad behaviour, and
  8. Difficulties with hearing & seeing

Studies have also shown that children with FASDs are more likely to;

  • be stubborn and recalcitrant
  • get into trouble in school
  • have criminal inclinations
  • indulge in high-risk behaviours, and
  • abuse alcohol or other drugs later in their life.
  • Consumption of excessive alcohol can lead to Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, producing irreversible lifetime changes in the fetus’s physical, mental, and neurobehavioral development. Alcohol during pregnancy affects the developing fetus and has adverse health outcomes for the mother. (Source Wikipedia)


In the most severe form of FASDs, called FETAL ALCOHOL SYNDROME, there’s substantial brain damage. Other types are;

  • Partial Fetal Alcohol Syndrome
  • Alcohol-related Neurodevelopmental Disorder, and
  • Alcohol-related Birth Defects, where the baby is born completely malformed.

So, a child with FASDs has issues with how their brain works. They’re short and have severe difficulty with learning, communicating, taking care of themselves, and getting along with others, plus abnormal body features, all of which affect their long-term livelihoods.

Alcohol during pregnancy is far more harmful than any other recreational drug, be it cocaine, heroin, or marijuana. The sad part is that FASDs are underdiagnosed. You’ll wonder why a child born to intelligent parents grows up severely mentally disabled. It could be alcohol!

Sometimes, alcohol damages a developing baby before you know you’re pregnant.
For example, there are many other problems with drinking alcohol during pregnancy, such as heart defects, premature births, miscarriages, and stillbirths.


To prevent Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASDs), our pregnant women & ladies intending to get pregnant shortly should stay away from drinking alcohol. It’s that simple.

If you’re pregnant or intend to be short, please don’t risk your unborn baby’s life by drinking alcohol. This is all in addition to its numerous adverse effects on you as a mother. Think about their future.

Feel free to ask any questions you may have below.

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