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Cause and effect: mother drinking alcohol during pregnancy - Essay Example

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Cause and Effect of Mother's Drinking Alcohol During Pregnancy The consumption of alcoholic beverages by women is a socially accepted norm that is not seen as having a negative effect on those around them. Social drinking is actually encouraged as a form of increased socialization among peers…
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Cause and effect: mother drinking alcohol during pregnancy
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Download file to see previous pages These irresponsible actions result in the birth of a child with both complex mental and physical retardation known as Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. The Mayo Clinic (2011) defines Fetal Alcohol Syndrome as an illness which affects the unborn child of an alcoholic mother. Mayo Clinic researchers explain that: Fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS) is a condition that results from alcohol exposure during pregnancy. Problems that may be caused by fetal alcohol syndrome include physical deformities, mental retardation, learning disorders, vision difficulties and behavioral problems. The problems caused by fetal alcohol syndrome vary from child to child, but defects caused by fetal alcohol syndrome are irreversible. (2011) It is not uncommon for women to drink heavily during pregnancy. Most of them seem to subscribe to the belief that “It won't be me or my child.” when it comes to the effects of FAS. The sad part of that belief is that these women do not realize they are already drinking far more heavily than usual. According to the March of Dimes Foundation (2008) : Recent government surveys indicate that about 1 in 12 pregnant women drink during pregnancy (2). About 1 in 30 pregnant women report binge drinking (five or more drinks on any one occasion) (2). Women who binge drink or drink heavily greatly increase the risk of alcohol-related damage to their babies. The reason that those women take the kind of chances that they do with alcohol while pregnant is because they do not understand or refuse to believe that anything that they ingest, their unborn child ingests as well. The alcohol is acutally absorbed by the child's placenta and is absorbed into the undeveloped system of the child. Since the fetus is not equipped to burn off the alcohol in the system, it remains within the blood system of the child longer than it would in the body of the mother thus causing life long damage to the unborn child. (March of Dimes, 2008) FAS is known as the number one cause of mental retardation among the newborn. Most families are not emotionally, physically, nor financially capable of handling such a situation and this causes undue pressure on the very people who are supposed to be the protectors of these children, the parents. According to studies done in 2001 by Patrick Morrisette, FAS has a direct and highly difficult impact on the parents lives. The illness requires the parents to adjust their lives due to the constant vigilance required in insuring that the child's health does not deteriorate. Some couples end up having to seek marriage counseling as the pressures of caring for an FAS child can be truly taxing on a marriage. More importantly, these parents need to learn how to help a FAS afflicted child adjust to the world while finding ways and means to pay for constantly mounting medical bills as well. Of all fo the factors mentioned above, the largest concern of the parents has got to be the financial aspect of the illness. Chuck Lupton (2003) wrote in his article “ The Financial Impact of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome” that with over 40,000 American babies born with FAS, and the fact that very few of them are able to emancipate from their parents and support themselves financially, caring for these children well into their adult lives amounts to the billions of dollars. The individual costs, ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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