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Created By: Amber Winningham & Brittney Wynter
What is FAS?
Fetal alcohol syndrome is growth,
mental, and physical problems that may
occur in a baby when a mother drinks
alcohol during pregnancy.
Using or abusing alcohol during
pregnancy can cause the same risks as
using alcohol in general. However, it
poses extra risks to the unborn baby.
When a pregnant woman drinks alcohol,
it easily passes across the placenta to
the fetus. Because of this, drinking
alcohol can harm the baby's
A pregnant woman who drinks any amount
of alcohol is at risk for having a child with
fetal alcohol syndrome. No "safe" level of
alcohol use during pregnancy has been
established. Larger amounts of alcohol
appear to increase the problems. Binge
drinking is more harmful than drinking
small amounts of alcohol.
 Timing of alcohol use during pregnancy is
also important. Alcohol use appears to be
the most harmful during the first 3 months
of pregnancy; however, drinking alcohol
any time during pregnancy can be harmful.
”It's estimated that
each year in the
United States, 1 in
every 750 infants is
born with a pattern of
developmental, and
functional problems
referred to as fetal
alcohol syndrome
(FAS), while another
40,000 are born with
fetal alcohol effects
Drinking alcohol during
pregnancy may result in:
Miscarriage or stillbirth
 Premature delivery
 Complications seen in the infant may include:
 Abnormal heart structure
 Behavior problems
 Infant death
 Mental retardation
 Problems in the structure of the head, eyes,
nose, or mouth
 Poor growth before birth
 Slow growth and poor coordination after birth
Symptoms and
birth weight
•facial abnormalities, including
smaller eye openings, flattened
cheekbones, and indistinct philtrum
(an underdeveloped groove between
the nose and the upper lip)
•poor coordination/fine motor skills
•learning difficulties, including poor
memory, inability to understand
concepts such as time and money,
poor language comprehension, poor
problem-solving skills.
•behavioral problems, including
hyperactivity, inability to concentrate,
social withdrawal, stubbornness,
impulsiveness, and anxiety
More Symptoms
Narrow, small eyes
with large epicanthal
Small head
Small upper jaw
Smooth groove in
upper lip
Smooth and thin
upper lip
How to Test for FAS
A physical exam of the baby may show
a heart murmur or other heart problems.
As the baby grows, there may be signs
of delayed mental development. There
also may be problems with the face and
 Blood alcohol level in pregnant women
who show signs of being drunk
 CT or MRI after the child is born.
•Blood alcohol level in pregnant
women who show signs of being drunk
•CT or MRI after the child is born.
Avoiding alcohol during
pregnancy prevents
fetal alcohol syndrome.
Counseling can help
women who have
already had a child with
fetal alcohol syndrome.
 Sexually active women
who drink heavily should
use birth control and
control their drinking
behaviors, or stop using
alcohol before trying to
get pregnant.
Women who are
pregnant or who are
trying to get pregnant
should avoid drinking
any amount of
alcohol. Pregnant
women with
alcoholism should join
an alcohol abuse
rehabilitation program
and be checked
closely by a health
care provider
throughout pregnancy.
Video Clip
Support Groups
National Council on
Alcoholism and Drug
National Drug and
Alcohol Treatment
Referral Routing
Service -- 1-800662-4357