Preparing for your appointment

Call your child's doctor for an appointment if you have any concerns about your child's growth and development. Also, 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.

Here's some information to help you get ready for your appointment.

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, and when the symptoms began
  • All medications, vitamins, herbs or other supplements that you took during pregnancy, and their dosages
  • Questions to ask your child's doctor to help make the most of your appointment time

Basic questions to ask may include:

  • What's the most likely cause of my child's symptoms?
  • Are there other possible causes?
  • Should my child see a specialist?
  • Will my child's condition improve over time? Will it get worse?
  • What treatments are available, and which do you recommend?
  • Are there medications that may help? Are there medications that should be avoided?
  • 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?

Don't hesitate to ask other questions during your appointment.

What to expect from your doctor

Your child's doctor is likely to ask you a number of questions. Be ready to answer them to reserve time to go over points you want to spend more time on. Your doctor may ask:

  • Did you drink alcohol while you were pregnant? If yes, how much and how often?
  • Did you use any street drugs during your pregnancy?
  • Did you have any problems during your pregnancy?
  • 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?
May 25, 2017
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  3. Fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASDs): Alcohol use in pregnancy. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Accessed March 13, 2017.
  4. Fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASDs): Secondary conditions. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Accessed March 13, 2017.
  5. Fetal alcohol syndrome. American Academy of Family Physicians. Accessed March 13, 2017.
  6. Williams JF, et al. Fetal alcohol spectrum disorders. Pediatrics. 2015;136:e1395.
  7. Effects of alcohol on a fetus. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. Accessed March 13, 2017.
  8. Weitzman C, et al. Fetal alcohol spectrum disorder: Overview of management and prognosis. Accessed March 13, 2017.
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  10. Weitzman C, et al. Fetal alcohol spectrum disorder: Clinical features and diagnosis. Accessed March 13, 2017.
  11. Hoecker JL (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. March 25, 2017.