Fetal Alcohol Syndrome

The consumption of alcohol by women is a major cause of concern. This is because the physiological impact of alcohol affects women differently from men. Response to alcohol abuse in women is influenced by their metabolism rate, hormones and the reproductive state. These responses are the same whether the woman is pregnant or not. However, chronic alcohol consumption during pregnancy affects the growth of the fetus. The fetus absorbs the alcohol through the placenta. Consequently, the fetus develops mental and physical abnormalities that are referred to as fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS). The symptoms of this syndrome include facial distortions, retarded motor growth, low birth weight and retarded mental development (Hanson, Venturelli and Fleckenstein 436). Other symptoms include hypersensitivity to stress, weak immune system, poor social and communication skills, memory deficiencies, poor feeding and impaired sleeping habits (Niccols 135-142).

Despite public awareness about dangers of alcohol consumption during pregnancy, the number of children born with FAS remains unchanged. Current figures show that the prevalence of FAS in the United States is 4.8 % (Zoorob, Aliyu and Hayes 379-385). Additionally, the prevention of FAS remains a challenge and not much is being done to address these challenges. With such gravity, this paper presents an argumentative paper on fetal alcohol syndrome. The paper discusses the incidence of the syndrome,

Fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS) is a birth defect in children that is caused by alcohol consumption by women during pregnancy. It is manifested as mental and physical retardation in children. Statistics show that 13% of pregnant women consume alcohol and a further 4 in 100 live births in the U.S are attributed to alcohol-related birth defects (Zoorob, Aliyu and Hayes 379-385). Additionally, mental retardation in FAS is more prevalent than either Down syndrome or spina bifida (Niccols 135-142). Given these statistics, public concern and participation in FAS prevention should increase. Strategies aimed at preventing FAS should involve all stakeholders for effective implementation. In agreement are Manning and Hoyme who stress the need for public concern on the prevalence of FAS. They note that this syndrome does not prejudice any race or tribe and it affects women of all color. This syndrome occurs in all races and tribes. This is evidenced from the fact that South Africa has the highest prevalence rates at 40-45% (230-238) compared to other countries. A further analysis of the impact of alcohol consumption during pregnancy is explored. Go to part 2 here.

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