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07 September 2011

Foetal alcohol spectrum disorders

Foetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD) is a group of birth defects that is only found in babies of mothers who drink alcohol during pregnancy.

Foetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD) is a group of birth defects that is only found in babies of mothers who drink alcohol during pregnancy. Here are some of the vital questions regarding FASD and the answers:

  • FASD is prevented if the mother does not drink alcohol during pregnancy.
  • FASD is 100% preventable.  No alcohol for mom during pregnancy then no FASD for baby.
  • FASD is 100% permanent.  The damage done by the alcohol cannot be undone.

How does alcohol get to the unborn baby?

  • It is best to stop drinking alcohol when you are planning to have a baby.
  • Alcohol harms an unborn baby in different ways at different times during the pregnancy.
  • If you stop drinking alcohol at any stage it will make a difference to the baby.

  • Alcohol can cause damage to the unborn baby even before the woman knows she is pregnant.
  • Alcohol can continue to harm the baby until the baby is born.
  • It is never too late to stop drinking during pregnancy.
  • No amount of alcohol is safe for the unborn baby.

  • Persuade her not to drink
  • Encourage her to go for help if she cannot stop drinking
  • Respect her wish when she decides not to drink
  • Help the pregnant woman to enjoy alcohol free activities
  • Ban alcohol from your house
  • Speak to a man you trust to learn how to be a better husband and father
  • Show solidarity! Give up alcohol for 9 months
  • Celebrate special occasions without alcohol
  • Planning a baby? Ban alcohol

  • Local community structures e.g. women’s groups
  • Narcotics Anonymous or Alcoholics Anonymous
  • Social worker
  • Mental health nurse
  • Places of worship
  • Religious leader

  • A FASD baby can be born early before his/her due date.
  • These babies have a low birth weight and are weak and sickly.
  • They are slow in reaching milestones e.g. sitting, walking, and talking.

 
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