FASD Is Completely Avoidable, So Why Are So Many Children Born With It?

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“I thought it was good for him” stated Sam, mother to 11 year-year-old Stanley who suffers from FASD as a result of his mother drinking while pregnant.

Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD) is referred to as an umbrella term used to describe a range of effects that occur on an individual as a result of their mother drinking alcohol while pregnant.

These effects often include physical, mental, behavioural, and/or learning disabilities with possible lifelong implications for the children effected.

As reported this week by The Daily Mail, mothers such as Sam were led to believe, during their pregnancies, that alcoholic drinks such as Guinness were good for their child considering their iron content. Like many mothers, a lack of information available at that time regarding what was and wasn’t suitable has resulted in some children suffering from FASD.

With one in 100 babies British babies born with FASD, the impact on children can be terrible resulting in brain damage, mental development problems and anger issues due to pregnancy drinking.

The recommended advice for women who would like to drink is suggested at two units per week, this level is considered ok and is equivalent to a small glass of wine at 1.5 units or a can of lager at 2 units however the Department of Health recommends that anyone who is trying for a baby or is pregnant should avoid alcohol altogether to minimise the risk to the baby.

Described as a ‘completely preventable intellectual and developmental deficit’ by the National Organisation on Fetal Alcohol Syndrome UK, FASD can also result in learning difficulties, language, social or motor skills impairment, memory impairment and attention deficits, poor consequential thinking, and poor planning ability. As a result, children could be misunderstood and their behaviour classified as ‘challenging’ which could result in them not receiving the right help.

FASD is a preventable condition and with children affected by it every day, only the right guidance and information can help prevent mothers’ from drinking while pregnant.

Image Source: Wikimedia Commons

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Nike is a forward thinking, first year Journalism undergraduate with an interest in news, health, entertainment and culture @nikeantonia

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