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Fetal Alcohol Syndrome - Research Paper Example

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The author examines fetal alcohol syndrome, a series of mental and physical defects that can develop in a fetus if a woman drinks an excessive amount of alcohol while she is pregnant. Though the amount of alcohol needed to cause fetal alcohol syndrome has yet to be determined…
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Fetal Alcohol Syndrome
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Download file to see previous pages Alcohol consumption is the main factor in a fetus developing fetal alcohol syndrome. When a pregnant woman drinks alcohol, the alcohol enters the bloodstream and reaches the fetus by crossing the placenta; anything that enters the woman’s body is passed along to the fetus, and alcohol is no different. However, fetuses are unable to metabolize alcohol as quickly as adults, thus making the fetus’s blood alcohol concentration higher than that of the mother and more difficult to get rid of (Ulleland, 1972). Adults are able to rid themselves of alcohol within an hour for each beverage, yet fetuses do not have the ability to do so, so the alcohol sticks with them longer, often cause irreversible damage.
Alcohol interferes with the oxygen being delivered to the unborn baby. It is common that babies face mental, behavioral and physical diseases and deformities when they are being denied the oxygen that they need to develop fully and healthily. This lack of oxygen greatly affects the nutrition of the baby’s developing tissues, organs, and brain, often causing babies with fetal alcohol syndrome to be born premature or with a variety of diseases or deformities.
Due to science and technology, a fetus still in the womb can be pre-diagnosed with fetal alcohol syndrome based on certain signs and symptoms; unfortunately, properly diagnosing the baby can only take place after the child has been born. The first major sign is a mother that drinks regularly while pregnant. Through ultrasounds and by listening to the heartbeat of the fetus, a doctor can determine if the fetus is already facing difficulties and complications due to the intake of alcohol. Unfortunately, many of the signs and symptoms are made known after the baby has been born. 
Babies often face growth deficiency, being excessively under average height and weight compared to babies born without the syndrome.  ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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