Alcohol Birth Defects

Alcohol Birth Defects, Fetal Alcohol Syndrome and Other Fetal Alcohol Effects

Mothers who consume alcohol while pregnant may give birth to babies with one of the following three health problems: alcohol birth defects, fetal alcohol syndrome and alcohol related neurological disorders. Although as many as one out of 12 pregnant women drinks to some extent while carrying a child, any alcohol consumption may result in serious and lifelong damage that can never be undone.

Fetal Alcohol Effects: FASDs

Traditionally, alcohol birth defects and other problems caused by a mother drinking while pregnant were broadly grouped under the term “fetal alcohol effects.” Today, the range of problems that impact babies born under these conditions are referred to as fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASDs).

Disorders along this spectrum can range from mild to severe. They can also be grouped into one of three categories: fetal alcohol syndrome, alcohol related neurodevelopment disorder and alcohol related birth defects.

Alcohol Birth Defects

Alcohol related birth defects occur when a baby is not able to develop properly due to his or her mother’s consumption of alcohol while in the womb.

It is very common for babies with mothers who drink to be born prematurely or with low birth weights. The babies may never fully develop and may be shorter than their peers. More serious and life-threatening alcohol-related birth defects include problems with the bones, heart, and kidneys. Vision and hearing problems may also be considered alcohol birth defects.

Fetal Alcohol Syndrome

Babies who are most severely impacted by a mother’s consumption of alcohol may be diagnosed with fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS). Those with FAS often exhibit a variety of symptoms including lack of coordination, poor memory, lack of impulse control, central nervous system problems and trouble learning. In some severe cases, babies with FAS are mentally retarded or have very low IQs.

Children with FAS typically also have a distinctive and abnormal appearance, with small eyes and lips and a smooth area where ridges should be between the mouth and nose.

Alcohol Related Neurodevelopment Disorders

The final category of fetal alcohol effects is alcohol related neurodevelopment disorders. Babies who experience these types of disorders typically have behavioral problems including difficulty socializing with peers or doing well in school. They may have memory problems and not be able to control their impulses.

Getting Legal Help for Alcohol Birth Defects

Sadly, as many as 40,000 babies are born every year with alcohol birth defects, fetal alcohol syndrome, neurodevelopment disorders or other FASDs. While fetal alcohol syndrome is often caused by a mother’s choice to drink, in some cases, fetal alcohol effects are caused or exacerbated by medical negligence or defective drugs or medical products.

If you or a loved one has been affected by a birth defect resulting from a careless doctor or a dangerous product, contact one of Chaffin Luhana LLP’s experienced birth defect attorneys at 1-888-480-1123 for a free and confidential case review. You may be entitled to compensation, and the lawyers at Chaffin Luhana can help.