Diagnosis Code O35.4
Information for Patients
Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders
Also called: FASD
Alcohol can harm your baby at any stage during a pregnancy. That includes the earliest stages before you even know you are pregnant. Drinking alcohol can cause a group of conditions called fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASDs). Effects can include physical and behavioral problems such as trouble with
- Learning and remembering
- Understanding and following directions
- Controlling emotions
- Communicating and socializing
- Daily life skills, such as feeding and bathing
Fetal alcohol syndrome is the most serious type of FASD. People with fetal alcohol syndrome have facial abnormalities, including wide-set and narrow eyes, growth problems and nervous system abnormalities.
FASDs last a lifetime. There is no cure for FASDs. Treatments can help. These include medicines to help with some symptoms and behavior therapy. No one treatment is right for every child.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
- Fetal alcohol syndrome (Medical Encyclopedia)
- Preventing FASD: Healthy Women, Healthy Babies (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration)
Pregnancy and Substance Abuse
When you are pregnant, you are not just "eating for two." You also breathe and drink for two, so it is important to carefully consider what you give to your baby. If you smoke, use alcohol or take illegal drugs, so does your unborn baby.
First, don't smoke. Smoking during pregnancy passes nicotine and cancer-causing drugs to your baby. Smoke also keeps your baby from getting nourishment and raises the risk of stillbirth or premature birth. Don't drink alcohol. There is no known safe amount of alcohol a woman can drink while pregnant. Alcohol can cause life-long physical and behavioral problems in children, including fetal alcohol syndrome. Don't use illegal drugs. Using illegal drugs may cause underweight babies, birth defects or withdrawal symptoms after birth.
If you are pregnant and you smoke, drink alcohol or do drugs, get help. Your health care provider can recommend programs to help you quit. You and your baby will be better off.
Dept. of Health and Human Services Office on Women's Health
- Alcohol and pregnancy (Medical Encyclopedia)
- Neonatal abstinence syndrome (Medical Encyclopedia)
- Smoking and Pregnancy (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)