Science (doctors) have not yet identified the safe limit of alcohol consumption during pregnancy, i.e. It is not clear how much alcohol consumption leads to development of fetal alcohol syndrome in the baby (growing fetus). Hence, the only absolute way to prevent fetal alcohol syndrome in your baby is to completely abstain from drinking alcohol during pregnancy, if you are planning pregnancy or if you think you are pregnant. If you completely abstain from drinking alcohol during pregnancy, it is 100% preventable. As we know that there is no safe way to prevent fetal alcohol syndrome, other than complete abstinence from alcohol, the following guidelines can help prevent fetal alcohol syndrome in your baby,
- If you are pregnant, abstain to drink alcohol completely, even avoid taking medications that contain alcohol. If you do not drink after conception fetal alcohol syndrome is preventable, completely.
- If you are planning pregnancy or trying to get pregnant, you should stop drinking before you plan pregnancy. At least stop drinking as soon as you become pregnant, as it is never late to stop drinking, because it can at least reduce the severity of symptoms.
- If you have alcohol drinking problem, it is best to give up drinking before you plan pregnancy. Get professional help for quitting drinking alcohol. There are several organizations that work for alcoholics, such as Alcoholic Anonymous. Get help from them.
- It is best for women in childbearing age to stop drinking, especially those who are sexually active and practice unprotected sex. Because many pregnancies are unplanned, you may not even know you are pregnant and it may be already late to stop drinking and damage may have been already done. The best way to prevent fetal alcohol syndrome is to stop drinking.
There is no cure for fetal alcohol syndrome. The treatment/management is based on reducing severity of symptoms and trying to improve functional capabilities. The physical defects and mental deficiencies last for life and there is no respite from it. This is the reason prevention is essentially the only way to handle the problem.
Image courtesy of [Stuart Miles] at FreeDigitalPhotos.net