Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS)

  • Medical Author:
    John Mersch, MD, FAAP

    Dr. Mersch received his Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of California, San Diego, and prior to entering the University Of Southern California School Of Medicine, was a graduate student (attaining PhD candidate status) in Experimental Pathology at USC. He attended internship and residency at Children's Hospital Los Angeles.

  • Medical Editor: William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

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What is the prognosis of fetal alcohol syndrome?

As noted in the above discussion, an individual with FAS may experience a lifelong litany of both physical and intellectual challenges. Early intervention programs and multi-therapy programs (including physical therapy) may often lessen the impact of the diagnosis.

Is it possible to prevent fetal alcohol syndrome?

Yes! Avoid all alcohol consumption while planning for conception and during pregnancy.

Is it safe to consume alcohol and breastfeed?

The concentration of alcohol in breast milk is very similar to maternal blood levels. Potential consequences include a reduction in breast milk consumption, alteration of newborn sleep and wake cycles, and possible delay of motor development at 1 year of age.

Where can people find more information about fetal alcohol syndrome?

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, "Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASDs)"

Medically reviewed by Margaret Walsh, MD; American Board of Pediatrics


Lyons Jones, Kenneth, et al. Smith's Recognizable Patterns of Human Malformation, 5th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: WB Saunders Co, 1997.

United States. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. "Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASDs)." Jan. 30, 2014. <http://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/fasd/index.html>.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 11/20/2015
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  • Fetal Alcohol Syndrome - Experience

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  • Fetal Alcohol Syndrome - Symptoms

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