Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder: Caring For Your Baby
British Columbia Specific Information
When you are pregnant, or planning to become pregnant, the safest option is to not drink alcohol at all. Drinking alcohol during your pregnancy puts your baby at risk of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD). FASD is the leading known cause of developmental disabilities in children. Taking drugs during pregnancy or while breastfeeding may also harm your baby. This includes prohibited drugs but could also include the misuse of prescribed or over the counter drugs.
Caring for your baby who has
fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD) requires
special attention to detect and manage problems that he or she may have. These
problems can range from mild to severe, but may include:
Sensitivity to stimulation. Your baby may be very
sensitive to touch, sounds, and light. Watch for
things that may be overstimulating to your child. If your baby seems irritable
and colicky, try to soothe him or her in a quiet, dark room. Avoid as much as
possible taking your baby to places that are crowded and noisy. Don't buy
clothes with tags or seams that could bother your baby's skin. Be aware that
your baby may refuse to eat certain foods, may flinch at the slightest touch,
and may not respond appropriately to hot or cold temperatures.
Sucking problems. Difficulty sucking can prevent your baby from
getting the nutrition he or she needs to grow and develop. Feed your baby
smaller amounts more often, maybe as often as every hour. If you bottle-feed
your baby, use a nipple made for a premature infant.
problems. Talk with your doctor about milestones you should watch
for and how to encourage the development of those skills. Encourage your baby's
development by reading and talking to and playing with him or her often. Write
down your baby's developmental achievements to help you and your doctor
identify your baby's strengths and weaknesses.
ByHealthwise Staff Primary Medical ReviewerJohn Pope, MD - Pediatrics Brian D. O'Brien, MD - Internal Medicine Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine Specialist Medical ReviewerErnest L. Abel, PhD - Reproductive Toxicology Louis Pellegrino, MD - Developmental Pediatrics