Fetal Alcohol Syndrome
Alcohol can cross from the mother's blood to the baby's blood. Even a small amount of any type can harm a growing baby.
|Blood Traveling Through Mother's Placenta to Baby|
|Alcohol travels through this path and affects the baby's development, particularly the heart and brain.|
|Copyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.|
Birth and growth problems depend on when the exposure happened and how much was consumed.
Babies with FAS may have:
- Low birth weight
- Small size and slowed growth
- Small head
- Small eyes
- Short, flat nose
- Flat cheeks
- Small jaws
- Misshapen ears
- Thin upper lip
- Sight and hearing problems
- Problems seeing
As the infant grows, other symptoms may develop, such as:
- Problems eating and sleeping
- Delayed speech
- Learning problems
- Poor coordination
- Behavior problems
- Lack of impulse control
- Problems getting along with other children
Children do not outgrow these problems. Teens and adults often have social and emotional problems. They may also have:
- Problems at school
- Problems keeping a job
- Trouble living on one's own
- Mental health problems
- Alcohol or substance abuse disorder
- Anxiety problems
- Anger problems
- Legal problems
This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.
Edits to original content made by Denver Health.
Copyright © EBSCO Information Services
All rights reserved.
a (Alcohol in Pregnancy; Drinking Alcohol During Pregnancy; FAS)
Kids Health—Nemours Foundation http://www.kidshealth.org
March of Dimes https://www.marchofdimes.org
Greater Toronto Area Intergroup http://aatoronto.org
Women's Health Matters http://www.womenshealthmatters.ca
Cook JL, Green CR, et al; Canada Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder Research Network. Fetal alcohol spectrum disorder: a guideline for diagnosis across the lifespan. CMAJ. 2016 Feb 16;188(3):191-197.
Drinking and your pregnancy. National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism website. Available at: http://pubs.niaaa.nih.gov/publications/DrinkingPregnancy%5FHTML/pregnancy.htm. Accessed November 4, 2020.
Fetal alcohol spectrum disorder. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://www.dynamed.com/condition/fetal-alcohol-spectrum-disorder. Accessed November 4, 2020.