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How To Prevent Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder

1206 words - 5 pages

Alcohol is a major part of today’s society. Individuals are constantly being exposed to alcohol on a daily basis by simple commercials on the television or while driving on the highway seeing advertisements of billboards. Alcohol is a dependent substance for many people in society because not only is it a way to release one’s stress, but it is also associated to have a good time with. Attending a holiday party at a family member’s house or a party to celebrate a birthday, alcohol is always involved. Individuals who abuse alcohol who are pregnant women are risking their unborn child with many abnormalities and lifelong implications. According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2011), “Approximately one in every eight women drinks alcohol while pregnant” (Drinking While Pregnant Still a Problem section, para 1).
Being pregnant is a wonderful part of life for a woman to experience. Many women have dreamed about becoming a mother, raising a family, and the thought of caring for their own child one day. Pregnancy normally last for nine months and during those nine months the mother has a responsibility that could potentially risk her unborn child if she does not follow appropriate dietary habits within the pregnancy. According to Santiago, Park, and Huffman (2013), “Most primary care physicians and obstetricians are not aware of the dietary and over-the-counter medication intake practices of their patients and thus lack information needed to help guide them” (p 2). Not knowing a pregnant patient’s dietary or medication intake is a huge risk factor for the unborn child. Especially having the mother not being aware of her own dietary intake can be a huge life risk factor for the fetus. There are many prenatal exposures throughout the pregnancy that can harm the fetus but one of the most common exposures is the use of alcohol.
Women who are pregnant may not know that they are pregnant and are consuming alcohol. Alcohol is a teratogen which is a substance that can harm a fetus. During the time of consuming alcohol by the mother, the unborn child is consuming what the mother is consuming through the placenta and that goes throughout the entire pregnancy. Women who are drinking while pregnant can cause a disorder called, fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD). According to John W. Santrock (2013), “Fetal alcohol spectrum disorders are cluster of abnormalities that appear in the offspring of mothers who drink alcohol heavily during pregnancy” (p. 84). The abnormalities that an unborn child could potentially have are physical, mental, behavioral, and/or learning disabilities with possible lifelong implications. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (2007), “In the United States, fetal alcohol spectrum disorder occurs in about 10 per 1,000 live births, or 40,000 babies per year” (What is FASD? section, para 2). According to Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (2007), “These lifelong...

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