Alcohol Impact on the Fetal Development Every year, in the United States of America, between 1000 to 6000 children are born with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS), that is considered a huge number. (“Drinking alcohol during pregnancy,” 2008). Pregnancy is a very crucial time for the fetus. Women need to take care of the fetus by resting, eating a balanced and diet nutritious and performing some physical exercise. In the world, there are many things that can impact the fetus that women are not aware of and mothers should be cautious.
Alcohol is one of them, expectant mothers should not drink alcohol during pregnancy. The purpose of this research is to explain and discuss the deleterious effects of alcohol on the fetal development during pregnancy. When, Where, How They Discover that Alcohol Has Effect on the Fetus In 1968, a man from France recognized that drinking alcohol during pregnancy may cause Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS), name was Lemoin. In 1973 in the United States of America, James and Smith continued the research about Fetal Alcohol Syndrome FAS.
They mentioned that (FAS) affect the fetus growth and cause bad result to the fetus before and after being born (Caleekal, 1989). The scientist discovered Fetal Alcohol Syndrome in some children whose mother drank alcohol during pregnancy before 30 years. At that time, they created FAS about alcohol’s effects on the fetus. (NIAAA, 2000). Fortunately, these days with advances in medicine, scientists discover many things having an effect on the fetal development. Many women feel that drinking alcohol during pregnancy is not a big deal.
Drinking alcohol during pregnancy might cause FAS. Women can protect their children from Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASDs) completely by stopping alcohol use during pregnancy (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [CDC], 2010). FAS causes many serious problems and diseases in the fetus such as mental retardation, problems on the heart, weak growth of the fetus, difficulties of understanding and problems in the brain. The mothers should never drink alcohol during their pregnancies, at least the three months of first trimester because these are a dangerous and sensitive time for the fetus.
However, not all the children whose mothers consume alcohol will develop birth defects. Sometimes, it affects their behavior and their lives will be difficult for them. Other effects of FAS are Alcohol-Related Birth Defects (ARBDs) and Alcohol-Related Neurodevelopmental Disorders (ARNDs). ARBDs are the physical problems in the fetus such as heart disease, eyes diseases or organs problems. ARNDs are the learning problems and difficulties in the fetus such as difficulties of understanding or short memory. There is no medicine or treatment for Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (“Drinking alcohol during pregnancy,” 2008).
Some researchers discovered that drinking alcohol during pregnancy might cause abortion or premature birth the fetus before the specific time and sometimes kill the fetus. The probability of causing diseases depends on the amount of drinking (“Drinking alcohol during pregnancy,” 2008). According to Henry and Lyn (1984), consuming alcohol during pregnancy may lead to prematurity. They observed drinking more than seven drinks a week during pregnancy may cause preterm delivery. Also, alcohol abuse during pregnancy is associated with decreased birth weight and neurological effects on newborns.