Fetal Alcohol Syndrome
Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (F.A.S.) and Fetal Alcohol Effect (F.A.E.) are well documented in literature. Fetal Alcohol Syndrome is the third most common cause of mental retardation among children in the United States. Women who drink alcohol during their pregnancy tend to produce a number of well-defined abnormalities in their babies. These abnormalities associated with F.A.S. occur in three categories as follows: growth retardation in almost 50 percent of all F.A.S. cases; central nervous system abnormalities including developmental and mental retardation in all cases; and sructural abnormalities consisting of characteristics of skeletal and organ defects. Structural abnormalities associated with F.A.S. consist of smaller head size, slanted eyelids, defective mid-facial tissues, abnormal creases in the palms of the hands, and defects in the walls separating the heart chambers. Some studies have attempted to define a safe level of alcohol during pregnancy.