Childhood Diseases

Posted by: Salli | 2010-09-08


Can you tell?

Dear doc
Is there any way of telling whether a newborn has been born to a mom who abused drugs/alchohol during pregnancy by looking at the baby? are there any tests that can be done on the newborn to check this? Can the mother be tested during pregnancy for drug / alchoholism? Thank you so much

Expert's Reply



Yes baby's of mothers who abuse alcohol may have a very characteristic appearance. This is called the 'foetal [or fetal] alcohol syndrome'.You can see an image on Google.It will depend on the type of drug that the mother is abusing but the infant may have certain characterics at birth such as a smaller than normal head size, be rather drowsy and possibly have an unusual cry.These babies also may have breathing difficulties at birth and later on may have problems with their development and learning.

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