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Fetal Alcohol Syndrome

  • By: Barbara Gurr
  • In: Encyclopedia of Motherhood
  • Edited by: Andrea O'Reilly
  • Subject:Sociology of Gender, Parenting, Maternal Health

Fetal alcohol syndrome is one of a group of birth defects commonly grouped together as fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD), also known as fetal alcohol effects. These disorders include a range of effects that can occur or develop in individuals whose biological mother drank alcohol during pregnancy. These effects can include physical, mental, behavioral, and/or learning disabilities, with possible lifelong implications. The umbrella term FASD includes FAS, partial fetal alcohol syndrome (PFAS), alcohol-related birth defects (ARBD), and alcohol-related neurodevelopmental disorder (ARND).

Causes and Symptoms of FASD

Alcohol use during pregnancy is the leading known preventable cause of mental retardation and birth defects in the United States. Because alcohol easily passes through the placental barrier and the fetus is less well equipped to physically process and eliminate alcohol ...

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