Call your child's doctor for an appointment if you see any signs or symptoms that concern you.
Here's some information to help you get ready for your appointment, and what to expect from your doctor.
What you can do
Before your appointment:
- Make a list of any symptoms you've noticed in your child, including any that may seem unrelated to the reason for the appointment.
- Make a list of all medications, vitamins or other supplements that you took during pregnancy, and their dosages.
- Let your child's doctor know if you drank alcohol during your pregnancy, and if so, how much and how often.
- Consider asking a family member or friend to come with you — sometimes it can be difficult to remember all of the information provided to you during an appointment, especially if you've been told that there may be something wrong with your child.
Preparing a list of questions can help you make the most of your time with your child's doctor. For fetal alcohol syndrome, some basic questions to ask your doctor include:
- What's the most likely cause of my child's symptoms?
- Are there other possible causes?
- What kinds of tests does he or she need? Do these tests require any special preparation?
- Will my child's condition improve over time? Will it get worse?
- What treatments are available, and which do you recommend?
- How can I prevent this from happening in future pregnancies?
- Are there any brochures or other printed material that I can have? What websites do you recommend?
- Are there medications that may help, and are there medications that should be avoided?
Don't hesitate to ask questions during your appointment.
What to expect from your doctor
Your child's doctor is likely to ask you a number of questions. Being ready to answer them may reserve time to go over points you want to spend more time on. Your doctor may ask:
June 02, 2014
- When did you first notice your child's symptoms?
- Have these symptoms been continuous or are they only occasional?
- Does anything seem to improve the symptoms?
- What, if anything, appears to worsen the symptoms?
- Did you have any problems during your pregnancy?
- Did you drink alcohol while you were pregnant? If yes, how much and how often?
- Did you use any street drugs during your pregnancy?
- Fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASDs). Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. http://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/fasd/index.html. Accessed March 6, 2014.
- Alcohol during pregnancy. March of Dimes. http://www.marchofdimes.com/pregnancy/alcohol-during-pregnancy.aspx#. Accessed March 6, 2014.
- Effects of alcohol on a fetus. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. http://fasdcenter.samhsa.gov/grabGo/factSheets.aspx. Accessed March 6, 2014.
- Jansson LW. Infants of mothers with substance abuse. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed March 6, 2014.
- Landgraf MN, et al. The diagnosis of fetal alcohol syndrome. Deutsches Arztebaltt International. 2013;110:703.
- Ungerer M, et al. In utero alcohol exposure, epigenetic changes and their consequences. Alcohol Research: Current Reviews. 2013;35:37.
- Coriale G, et al. Fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD): Neurobehavioral profile, indications for diagnosis and treatment. Rivista di psichiatria. 2013;48:359.
- Petrenko CL, et al. Prevention of secondary conditions in fetal alcohol spectrum disorders: Identification of systems-level barriers. Maternal and Child Health Journal. In press. Accessed March 6, 2014.
- Hoecker JL (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. March 17, 2014.
- Tervo RC (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. April 11, 2014.