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I’ll Take Two Shots by Donald Edward Moticka

By at March 30, 2013 | 9:41 am | Print

A child is born every seven seconds in the United States, one in eight of those children are born prematurely. Every Seven seconds a new life, journey, and family is created. So often though, a child is brought into the world under conditions that can sometimes create prolonged affects, both physical and neurological. The issues that a child may have when first born could stem from a broad field of possibilities, yet some of the time, this can be caused by moderate to heavy drinking of alcohol by the carrier. Whatever the mother eats the baby eats, and whatever she drinks, the baby drinks. This occurs because whatever goes through the mother’s blood is also going through the baby’s blood as well, which can affect the growth of the cells. Drinking moderate to heavy amounts of alcohol during a pregnancy can lead to miscarriages, which is the death of a child before the 20 weeks of gestation, stillbirth, which is the death of the baby after 20 weeks of gestation and commonly a premature birth, which is when the child is born before 37 weeks gestation.

Like I said, there is a broad field as to the reasons a child may be brought into this world sooner than scheduled, however premature births can be caused by drinking during the pregnancy. Due to this occurrence a child may be born with a disorder known as, FASD or Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder. The effects of this can be long term or even deadly. The physical effects of this disorder can range from distinctive facial features, such as, small head, flat face and narrow eye openings. Dysfunction to the central nervous system is also a common issue. Microcephaly, which is a decrease in the size of the brain, is just one of the few dysfunctions that the child may have. Tremors and seizures are some of the others. When the child is born, bonding and feeding can be an issue. Due to exposure to alcohol during pre-birth the child may be shorter than others in their age group.  This growth problem not only can occur at birth, but can stay for the longevity of the person’s life. Some other central nervous system disorders that can occur over time are; hyperactivity, fine and gross motor skill difficulties, attention deficits, Learning Disabilities, mental retardation, developmental delays and intellectual disabilities.

I wrote this article because FASD is something that I have lived with all my life. I was born too soon, and although I have grown out of some of the symptoms that come with this disorder, some of them still loom 28 years later. I found that reading more about this disorder was educational, not only for me, but also, so that I can let others who may have a child with FASD, or have it themselves, can be educated.  Don’t let this disorder or any other disorder that you may have or that your child may have hinder you from living the life that you want or that they can have.  We only get one life, so make the most of it.

Information provided by:

WebMD:     http://www.webmd.com/baby/tc/alcohol-effects-on-a-fetus-topic-overview

Sanford School of Medicine: http://www.usd.edu/medical-school/center-for-disabilities/upload/fasdhandbook.pdf

Marshfield Clinic: http://www2.marshfieldclinic.org/wissp/when.htm

Medicine.net: http://www.medterms.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=11895

 

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