Foetal alcohol syndrome
If a woman drinks alcoholduring pregnancy, she risks damaging her baby. Sometimes this can result inmental and physical problems in the baby, called foetal alcohol syndrome.
This can occur because alcohol in the mother's blood passes to her baby through the placenta.
The baby can't process alcohol as well as the mother can, which means it can damage cells in their brain, spinal cord and other parts of their body, and disrupt their development in the womb.
This can result in the loss of the pregnancy. Babies that survive may be left with the lifelong problems described below.
Foetal alcohol syndrome is a type of foetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD), the name for all the various problems that can affect children if their mother drinks alcohol in pregnancy.
This page covers:
Find out about foetal alcohol syndrome, a range of mental and physical problems that can affect children whose mothers drink alcohol while they're pregnant.
A baby exposed to alcohol in the wombmay have: a head that's smaller than average poor growth they may be smaller than average at birth, grow slowly as they get older, and be shorter than average
Speak to your GP or health visitor if you have any concerns about your child's development or think they could have foetal alcohol syndrome. If the condition isn't diagnosed early on and a child does
There is no particular treatment for foetal alcohol syndrome, and the damage to the child's brain and organs can't be reversed. But an early diagnosis and support can make a big difference. Once the
Foetal alcohol syndromeis completely avoidable if youdon't drink alcohol while you're pregnant. The risk is higher the more you drink,although there's no proven "safe" level of alcohol in pregnancy.