What are the complications for a child born of alcoholism?
Today in the United States, alcohol is the leading reason for developmental and physical birth defects that could have been avoided. That’s because when a woman promotes alcoholism and consumes alcohol throughout her pregnancy, she is increasing the risk of giving birth to a kid with either mental or physical deformities that will stay with them for their entire life. However, even with this being said, many pregnant women continue to drink anyways. That’s why 1 in 750 infants today are born with physical, functional and developmental issues. Children born of alcoholism are therefore known to suffer from fetal alcohol syndrome.
Children who are victims of alcoholism and that have been diagnosed with fetal alcohol syndrome typically display symptoms that include low birth weight, developmental delay, smaller eye openings, epilepsy, small head circumference, flattened cheekbones, poor fine motor and coordination skills, organ dysfunction, lack of curiosity, poor socialization skills, poor memory, poor problem-solving skills, inability to concentrate, anxiety and hyperactivity. Those with fetal alcohol effects show a lot of the same symptoms, but not quite as bad. These symptoms, though, tend to get worse for people as they transition from childhood into adulthood. This means everything from health problems to run-ins with the law. However, children dealing with fetal alcohol effects are typically undiagnosed.
Besides fetal alcohol effects, many children who were born to a woman who practiced alcoholism and drank during her pregnancy experience alcohol-related neurodevelopmental disorder. This term deals with children that only show the behavior and emotional damage that’s associated with both fetal alcohol effects and fetal alcohol syndrome. Here, there aren’t any clear physical growth deficiencies. A lot of times though, kids who do suffer from fetal alcohol syndrome or neurodevelopmental disorder are seen as stubborn. They can excel on intelligence tests, but their behavioral issues often prevent them from succeeding in life. That’s why it’s so important that they get the proper education and training from their parents, as well as health care professionals and professors.
When discussing all the complications that arise from a child born of alcoholism, it leaves many to wonder how much alcohol is too much. Is the occasional drink okay or should alcohol be completely sworn off? There is no evidence out today that shows how much alcohol corresponds to these deficiencies and defects. That’s because all women handle and process their alcohol differently. Plus, there are other factors involved here like how old the mother is and the timing and regularity of the alcoholism. However, when the child is born to an alcoholic, this will, without a doubt, result in full-blown fetal alcohol syndrome. That’s because here there is chronic alcohol abuse during the pregnancy. Fetal alcohol effects and alcohol-related neurodevelopmental disorder may be the result of either binge drinking or a drink here and there.
The reason why alcohol is so damaging during a pregnancy is because this substance has a way of passing easily through the placental barrier. That means the fetus will get a high concentration of that alcohol and it’s physically not able to get it out of its system. Those mothers who support alcoholism and consume alcohol throughout their first trimester often have kids with the most severe defects since that’s when the brain is developing. The connections in the brain won’t be made the way it should be when there is alcohol in there.
It’s clear that any child born to an alcoholic will suffer serious lifelong symptoms that derive from conditions like fetal alcohol syndrome and alcohol-related neurodevelopmental disorder. That’s why if you or someone you love is an alcoholic and want to have a child, you must seek out help. Alcoholism is extremely damaging to a pregnancy, so take action now and get the help you need from a treatment center.