Signs of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome In Infants

During pregnancy if you drink alcohol this could have extremely harmful effects on your infant. Alcohol very easily crosses the placenta barrier and enters the fetus. You would never give a child or infant alcohol and especially, you would never want a developing fetus to come into contact with alcohol. This could affect development in a number of ways and even cause birth defects. It is important to remember that there really is no safe level of alcohol that you can consume during pregnancy. Fetal alcohol syndrome is a real risk and some signs of fetal alcohol syndrome in infants include:

In Utero

While the child is still in the mother’s womb a number of problems can occur if alcohol is consumed. This can include stunted fetal growth, heart defects and physical feature issues such as narrowed eyes, small eyes, small head, small jaw, thin upper lip and more.

Post Birth

After a child has been born there may be some other problems that surface including developmental delays in the areas of speech, movement, thought, social skills, etc. The infant may also have very poor muscle tone and poor muscle control. More often than not, the child grows up to have a much lower IQ than your average child of that age group. Joints can be misshapen and misplaced on the child; causing a number of skeletal issues and pain.


In order to determine if there is a problem, a doctor will look at a number of signs of fetal alcohol syndrome in infants to officially diagnose a condition. If it is suspected that a mother who is in labor or has just given birth is potentially intoxicated, medical personnel may request that the mother have her blood alcohol level tested. Brain scans on the baby such as a CT or MRI, can also give some insight when signs of fetal alcohol syndrome in infants is suspected. If the child is still inside the mother’s womb then a pregnancy ultrasound may be able to diagnose a number of problems associated with this condition. While tests are in place to diagnose fetal alcohol syndrome and its related conditions, nobody wants to be in the place of having to put their child through unnecessary testing.

Obviously, drinking to excess when pregnant is extremely dangerous to both the mother and the baby. However, even the smallest amount of alcohol can be harmful. The period of time where alcohol is the most dangerous is during the first trimester of pregnancy (months one through three). Get more information here.