Alcohol consumption during pregnancy can cause several birth defects.

The spectrum of alcohol-related diagnoses includes:

   Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS)
    Fetal Alcohol Effects (FAE)
    PFAS (Partial Fetal Alcohol Syndrome)
    ARND (Alcohol Related Neurodevelopmental Disorder)
    ARBD (Alcohol Related Birth Defects)

All of these birth defects are entirely preventable.

Birth defects can happen to anyone, regardless of age, race or socioeconomic status.

FAS three criteria for diagnosis

1) Characteristic facial features

    Flattened midface
    Thin upper lip
    Indistinct/absent philtrum
    Short eye slits

2) Growth retardation

    Lower birth weight
    Disproportional weight not due to nutrition, height
    Weight below the 5th percentile

3) Central Nervous System Abnormalities  "neurodevelopmental"

    Impaired fine motor skills,
    Learning disabilities,
    Behaviour disorders
    Mental handicap (found in 50% of FAS)

To diagnose PFAS, only two of the three above criteria must be present and must include some facial features and brain differences.

To diagnose ARND, only one of the above three criteria must be present and must be a brain difference.

These fetal alcohol effects are often thought to be less damaging than the "full-blown" syndrome, however, they are often more debilitating to the person's quality of life.

Fetal Alcohol Syndrome/Fetal Alcohol Effects are PERMANENT and cannot be outgrown.

FAS/FAE babies and young children may have other specific distinguishable features:

Short stature
    Small and thin
    Hearing defects
    Organ imperfections
    Bone problems
    Difficulty with eating
    Difficulty developing a regular sleeping schedule
    Difficulty learning how to walk
    Difficulty learning toilet training
    Impulsivity (i.e. running out into the street)

FAS/FAE children have learning disabilities, which include

Difficulties in learning language and language use
    Difficulties in generalizing information
    Difficulties in mastering new or recently learned skills
    Difficulties in recent memory (ie. yesterday events)
    Difficulties inpredicting outcomes or cause and effect
    Difficulties indistinguishing fact from fantasy
    Difficulties in distinguishing friends from strangers
    Donot learn from experience as they
    Do not understand cause and effect

FAS/FAE adults continue to have the same learning difficulties they had as youth, and also often have difficulty with:

Legal system (do not understand cause and effect)
    Controlling alcohol consumption
    Maintaining custody of their children
    Mental health issues
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Alcohol in Pregnancy