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Fetal Alcohol Syndrome: Tips for Parents

International Awareness Day for Fetal Alcohol Disorder is marked every year on September 10th. Experts at Schneider Children’s emphasize that drinking alcohol during pregnancy endangers the fetus.
Date: 05.09.16 | Update: 26.10.16

Dr. Yehuda Sanetsky, who heads the clinic for the diagnosis and treatment of children exposed to alcohol during pregnancy, says that pregnant women or those planning pregnancy, should refrain totally from drinking alcohol.

Alcohol is one of the most dangerous substances to the developing fetus and drinking alcohol during pregnancy can lead to irreversible damage of the nervous system and various body organs. The amount of alcohol that passes through the placenta to the fetus is exactly the same amount that has accumulated in the mother’s blood. The main danger is “drinking revelry” when a large amount of alcohol is consumed in a short time. Since a safe level of alcohol consumption is not known, the sweeping recommendation of all leading global health organizations as well as Schneider Children’s is to avoid alcohol altogether when planning a pregnancy or during pregnancy.

Alcohol consumption and its consequent exposure to the fetus is felt to be the most common cause for neuro-developmental disorders. This can be altogether avoided. Research undertaken in 2010 by Schneider specialists found that over 15% of pregnant women in Israel drink alcohol in varying quantities. 


Schneider Children’s operates a special clinic for the diagnosis, treatment and follow up of children exposed to alcohol during pregnancy. The clinic treats a range of disorders on the Fetal Alcohol Spectrum characterized by developmental problems, attention and concentration deficit, emotional and behavioral disturbances, organ damage, and difficult cases of full-blown Fetal Alcohol Syndrome that includes developmental and physical disorders and typical facial distortions. The clinic collaborates with and is supported by the National Authority for Drug and Alcohol Abuse.


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