Overview

Fetal alcohol syndrome is a condition in a child that results from alcohol exposure during the mother's pregnancy. Fetal alcohol syndrome causes brain damage and growth problems. The problems caused by fetal alcohol syndrome vary from child to child, but defects caused by fetal alcohol syndrome are not reversible.

There is no amount of alcohol that's known to be safe to consume during pregnancy. If you drink during pregnancy, you place your baby at risk of fetal alcohol syndrome.

If you suspect your child has fetal alcohol syndrome, talk to your doctor as soon as possible. Early diagnosis may help to reduce problems such as learning difficulties and behavioral issues.

May 25, 2017
References
  1. AskMayoExpert. Fetal alcohol syndrome. Rochester, Minn.: Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research; 2016.
  2. Fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASDs): Facts about FASDs. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. https://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/fasd/facts.html. Accessed March 13, 2017.
  3. Fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASDs): Alcohol use in pregnancy. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. https://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/fasd/alcohol-use.html. Accessed March 13, 2017.
  4. Fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASDs): Secondary conditions. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. https://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/fasd/secondary-conditions.html. Accessed March 13, 2017.
  5. Fetal alcohol syndrome. American Academy of Family Physicians. https://familydoctor.org/condition/fetal-alcohol-syndrome/#questions. 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. https://store.samhsa.gov/shin/content/SMA07-4275/SMA07-4275.pdf. Accessed March 13, 2017.
  8. Weitzman C, et al. Fetal alcohol spectrum disorder: Overview of management and prognosis. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed March 13, 2017.
  9. Wilhoit LF, et al. Fetal alcohol spectrum disorders: Characteristics, complications, and treatment. Community Mental Health Journal. In press. Accessed March 13, 2017.
  10. Weitzman C, et al. Fetal alcohol spectrum disorder: Clinical features and diagnosis. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed March 13, 2017.
  11. Hoecker JL (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. March 25, 2017.