foetal alcohol syndrome

Foetal Alcohol Syndrome is a medical diagnosis which is caused by
Prenatal exposure to alcohol. It is the most common preventable, form of intellectual disability in the world, yet it is a serious health problem worldwide (Astley , 2006). According to Streissguth (1996) , alcohol can cause serious damage to the developing foetus, and it is the most common cause of both mental and behavioural problems in children with Foetal Alcohol Syndrome (Weyandt , 2009). The majority of women in the Western Cape that were at risk of Alcohol Exposure in Pregnancy ( AEP ) were faced with daily struggles and were living in poverty ( Parly et al , 2005). These women felt isolated and helpless in dealing with the lack of food , domestic violence and abuse . There is evidence of depression in the majority of these women and understandably substance abuse was a coping mechanism ( May et al , 2005 ). In my essay I will provide an overview of Foetal Alcohol Syndrome ( FAS ) , the effects of alcohol on babies , long term effects of alcohol usage . Due to South Africa, particularly the Western Cape having the highest FAS rate in the world , I will explain FAS in South African context. Alcohol intake during pregnancy , regardless of the quantity consumed , is still likely to affect the foetus . The foetus is affected differently at different stages in the pregnancy ( Nugent et al , 1996 ). The fact that alcohol is a teratogenic substance ( drug capable of interfering with the development of an embryo ) it crosses the placenta easily causing defects to the baby . In some cases FAS problems / complications do recede after birth but behavioural problems , learning disabilities or difficulties, hyperactivity (ADHD) , for example ,…

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