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That is how dangerous alcohol is during pregnancy

Status: 07/26/2019 4:24 p.m. | archive
Even a single glass of alcohol during pregnancy can have serious consequences.

Fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS) is the most common congenital disability in the western world. It is applied to the unborn child in the womb when pregnant women drink alcohol. Even small amounts can have fatal consequences, because alcohol also affects the unborn child.

Even if people with FAS are mostly intelligent, they can concentrate hard, forget a lot and are quickly overwhelmed. Many of them have behavioral problems at school and keep breaking the rules because they lack a sense of boundaries. And most of those affected are never diagnosed. It never occurs to anyone that alcohol is the cause of their problems during pregnancy.

Every fifth pregnant woman drinks alcohol

In Germany alone, an estimated 10,000 alcoholic babies are born every year - every third person develops a pronounced fetal alcohol syndrome. The drug commissioner of the federal government assumes that one in five pregnant women in Germany consumes alcohol, especially women from higher education and income groups.

How alcohol affects the unborn child

In the first seven to ten days after fertilization, the "all-or-nothing principle" applies: either the alcohol does not harm the embryo at all - or it directly causes a discharge, i.e. the end of the pregnancy.

After implantation in the uterus, the unborn child is connected to the mother's bloodstream and receives every sip unfiltered. The growing child does not yet have an intact liver that could break down the alcohol. Even small amounts of the cytotoxin can cause irreversible damage, especially malformations of the heart and kidneys during their growth phases. The brain is particularly at risk because it grows throughout pregnancy. Neurologists therefore find a variety of brain damage in most people with FAS.

Symptoms of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome

The frontal lobe is often affected by fetal alcohol syndrome. This area in the brain is responsible for attention and the ability to concentrate. If the frontal lobe is damaged, it is difficult for those affected to ignore unimportant things and focus on what is important or even think several steps ahead. In addition, they have no impulse control, so that they often cannot cope with everyday life on their own and many have great difficulties in keeping up with vocational training. Many feel overwhelmed.

10 to 20 percent of affected children have certain facial features: They have a narrow upper lip with a slightly pronounced hollow over it and shortened eyelids.

Diagnosis and therapy

A diagnosis as early as possible is important. Because then the parents can support the child better without overwhelming them. The key is: Children with fetal alcohol syndrome need simple, clear tasks and fixed structures.

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Experts on the subject

Dr. Jan O. Schönfeldt, child neurologist
Institute for Child Neurology
Rothenbaum road 114
20149 Hamburg
(040) 48 60 89

FASD Fachzentrum Hamburg e. V.
Rothenbaumchaussee 114
20149 Hamburg

Prof. Dr. Hans-Ludwig Spohr, child and youth psychiatrist
FASD Center Berlin
Peter-Lenné-Strasse 42
14195 Berlin-Steglitz

additional Information
FASD Germany e. V.
Hill path 4
49809 Lingen, Germany
(0591) 710 67 00

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Visit | 07/30/2019 | 8:15 pm