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Fetal Alcohol Syndrome: 2024 Symptoms & Treatment

fetal alcohol syndrome

Fetal alcohol syndrome is a serious disorder that affects fetal development. Fetal alcohol syndrome may occur if the mother consumes alcohol during her pregnancy. Symptoms of the syndrome can vary depending on the amount of alcohol the mother consumes during her pregnancy. Although most women are aware that alcohol can affect the healthy development of the infant they’re carrying, a woman who is addicted to alcohol may find it difficult to stop drinking during her pregnancy. 

Resurgence Behavioral Health treats all forms of substance use disorders. We treat alcohol addiction with medical detox, inpatient treatment, outpatient treatment, and aftercare. Our licensed clinicians can also provide dual diagnosis treatment and medication-assisted treatment for clients who can benefit from it. 

A fetus that is affected by fetal alcohol syndrome can experience life-long impacts. The sad fact of this disorder is that it is preventable. Unfortunately, many women struggle to stop drinking if they have an alcohol use disorder. Getting into treatment can help pregnant women reduce the risk that their developing infant will experience this condition or experience severe condition symptoms. 

At Resurgence Behavioral Health, we offer many therapeutic approaches that can help women who are pregnant or thinking about becoming pregnant manage their alcohol addiction effectively. For pregnant women, there is no safe level of drinking. The best way to support the health of a developing fetus is to stop drinking alcohol. To stop, it’s important to enroll in a high-quality addiction treatment program. At Resurgence Behavioral Health, we feature traditional medical treatments, holistic therapies, and some alternative treatments known to enhance recovery. 

Yes, it is hard to stop drinking, but with help, you can. Our trained addiction specialists treat all clients with the dignity and respect they deserve. Alcohol use disorder can be successfully managed, but it typically requires professional support. For expecting mothers, time is of the essence. The sooner you get help, the better for your developing baby. 

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Understanding Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS)

Fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS) may occur when an expecting mother drinks alcohol. Alcohol can negatively impact the development of a fetus, causing many health problems that range in severity. There is no safe level of alcohol that may be consumed during pregnancy as each woman’s chemistry is different, and each fetus may be more or less developmentally vulnerable to the effects of alcohol. Of course, the more alcohol that is consumed, the higher the risk of fetal development problems. 

This condition can have life-long health consequences for infants. Some health problems can be extremely severe, impacting the child’s quality of life. To prevent this syndrome, women contemplating pregnancy or even women having unprotected sex during their reproductive years should stop abusing alcohol and get help if they cannot stop drinking. Resurgence Behavioral Health features alcohol addiction treatment programs that help people achieve lasting recovery. We can help you put alcohol abuse in your past. 

Recognizing the Symptoms of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome 

Today’s healthcare providers understand the signs of fetal alcohol syndrome. The condition is characterized by symptoms such as:

  • Growth deficiencies (such as below-average birth weight).
  • Facial abnormalities, including small eye openings.
  • Organ abnormalities that could include heart defects.
  • Central nervous system conditions and intellectual disabilities.
  • Behavioral problems that could include impulse control problems.
  • Vision and/or hearing problems or impairments.

These problems may be more or less severe depending on how much alcohol the expecting mother consumes and when she consumes it during her pregnancy. Genetics and environmental factors may also impact the severity of these symptoms. 

The Impact of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome on Individuals and Families

When a baby is born with fetal alcohol syndrome, the impact can be tremendous and lasting. Some people who are born with the disorder may require lifelong management of their condition’s effects. Mothers may experience lifelong guilt because they drank during pregnancy and caused harm to their developing child. That is the reality of the disorder. Even minor symptoms can have a lifelong impact on the child and their future life. 

fetal alcohol syndrome symptoms

Other family members can also be impacted when an infant is born with this condition. Siblings of the infant may be needed, especially as they age, to help the sibling with the condition. Extended family may also be needed to help care for the child. Again, the family impact depends on the extent of the child’s disabilities and medical conditions. The fact is, the condition is especially tragic for families because it is preventable. The risk of the disorder is non-existent, provided a woman doesn’t drink while pregnant. 

Advances in Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Treatment

Medical researchers have worked hard to develop treatments for fetal alcohol syndrome. Treatment most often centers on addressing the symptoms that an infant has. Many symptoms are readily apparent after birth, but some may not present until later as the infant grows. Unfortunately, there is no cure for fetal alcohol syndrome. Doctors and therapists can only treat symptoms using various therapeutic approaches. The success of treatments depends on the severity of symptoms and how the individual responds. Although there have been some advances in treating various conditions, such as behavioral disorders and mental health issues, the result of treatment depends on the individual. 

Preventing Fetal Alcohol Syndrome

Fetal alcohol syndrome can be prevented. By eliminating alcohol from your diet as a pregnant woman, you can reduce the risks of this condition developing. Ideally, it’s best to stop drinking before becoming pregnant so that all stages of the pregnancy are free from the effects of alcohol. If you are addicted to alcohol and are pregnant, it’s imperative to get help to stop drinking. Just as alcohol addiction can erode the mental and physical health of the drinker, it can also do the same to developing infants. Prevent your fetus from this condition by not drinking during pregnancy. Remember, Resurgence Behavioral Health can help. 

Living with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome: A Guide for Adults

If you were diagnosed as an infant with fetal alcohol syndrome, you may be vulnerable to alcoholism. You may also be living with the syndrome’s effects as an adult. If you are the parent or guardian of someone with fetal alcohol syndrome, you may also be required to help manage the condition. The best way to manage this condition is with personalized treatments based on each symptom. Many healthcare providers specialize in this condition and its management. Ask your clinician to recommend a specialist or clinic who can help you manage all associated symptoms. 

How Resurgence Behavioral Health Can Help

Resurgence Behavioral Health can help you if you are addicted to alcohol. Our programs are based on the most effective treatments and strategies available today. We combine medically sanctioned therapies like cognitive behavioral therapy and holistic and alternative treatments that can enhance the recovery process. If you are pregnant and can’t stop drinking, it is essential to get help now. The health of your unborn child depends on your willingness and ability to stop drinking. Our team of addiction specialists can help. 

Contact Resurgence Behavioral Health online or call 855-458-0050 to get help with your alcohol addiction today. Take the necessary steps to safeguard your and your developing child’s health. We can help you manage your addiction successfully.

Addiction Treatment that
Just Works

Individualized treatment programs delivered in a comfortable, relaxed setting promote healing in your recovery journey.

Josh Chandler
Josh Chandler
After growing up in Chicago and North Carolina, Josh chose to get help with substance use disorder and mental health in California because of the state's reputation for top-tier treatment. There, he found the treatment he needed to achieve more than five years of recovery. He's been in the drug and alcohol addiction rehab industry for four years and now serves as the Director of Admissions for Resurgence Behavioral Health. Josh remains passionate about the field because he understands that one phone call can alter the course of a person's life.

Research | Editorial

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