Most expectant mothers realize that drinking is not helpful for unborn children.
What many do not realize is that children who are born to mothers who have been drinking sometimes suffer from a form of brain damage known as Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, or FAS.
Children who suffer from FAS are usually taken away from their families early on in life, and are much more likely to grow up in foster care?
Sadly, that’s far from the worst of the problems experienced by children born to mothers who drink.
For women considering pregnancy or women who are currently pregnant, eliminating alcohol addiction is not optional. Considering going to a rehab for pregnant women is an excellent idea.
The Dangers of Alcohol to the Fetus
It’s been shown that alcohol is acutely toxic to a fetus, and it takes relatively little alcohol to produce these problems. Safe levels of alcohol during pregnancy don’t exist — any amount at all is a danger. This unfortunate fact is why one child in a hundred is born suffering from FAS.
The condition is as a result the main cause of preventable birth defects and retardation: it produces facial deformities, brain damage, and growth deficits. Liver, heart, as well as kidney defects are common as well; as are hearing and vision troubles.
People suffering from FAS often have problems learning as well as trouble with their attention, problem solving ability, and memory.
That’s not all. According to the National Organization for Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, or NOFAS, when pregnant women drink alcohol, so does their baby. Alcohol goes straight through the placenta into the baby, which may suffer “lifelong damage” thanks to the exposure. This is why is it so important, if you find yourself in this position, to get help & to start considering rehab for pregnant women.
This information is not new. Almost all women have heard at least a little about the risks of drinking during a pregnancy.
Unfortunately many still do not take the issue seriously. Alcoholic women should not even consider pregnancy until they complete alcohol rehab. If they do find themselves pregnant, they need to get help ASAP from a facility that specializes in pregnant women rehab.
Basics of FAS
FAS was first discovered in 1973, at the University of Washington’s School of Medicine. There, researchers first observed birth defects which were directly connected to alcohol consumption during a pregnancy.
Previously, doctors had thought malnutrition might produce these defects. However, the patterns of malformation were not seen to children who were born to under- or malnourished women. They only appeared in women who consumed alcohol during their pregnancy.
Since that 1973 study, the medical establishment started paying attention to the problem, and established exact criteria needed to diagnose FAS. It’s a fact that not only should anyone considering a pregnancy not drink, problem drinkers should also first go through rehab.
How We Treat Women With Children
At New Directions for Women, we are extremely involved in meeting our children’ special needs. We understand the spectrum of disorders caused by prenatal alcohol exposure, and provide assessments to identify developmental delays, learning disabilities, and any special medical or clinical needs.
Our program services include individual, family, play, and “Mommy and Me” therapy. We also help educate clients on alcoholism from the perspective of a family disease, and facilitate both better parent-child communication and parenting education. For school age children, there is the opportunity to enroll in area schools; infants and younger children can attend the daycare program we have on site.