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any pregnant women are not aware of the complications that are involved with pregnancy The greater majority of young women see pregnancy as a way of bringing a life into the world but do not use precaution in their dietary habits to prevent the destruction or inhibition of such a life Most pregnant women continue on their drinking and drug abuse binge right throughout their pregnancy They do not think ahead to the inexplicable damage that it could do to their fetus What they do not know is that when a woman drinks while pregnant it could do damage and pose problems not only to herself but to the fetus that she is carrying The problem FAS Fetal Alcohol Syndrome According to many physicians it is the leading cause of birth defects and developmental disabilities in the United States today Douglas A Milligan states that FAS is the single greatest cause of mental retardation in the US today Seachrist p 314 Fetal Alcohol Syndrome was first named and treated an d found in the late 1960s This condition results from the toxic effect of alcohol and its chemical factors on the developing fetus and its brain The alcohol enters the bloodstream though the placenta and then the damage begins to occur FAS consists of a characteristic pattern of abnormalities resulting from the exposure that the fetus has had with alcohol during early development There have been many reports linking alcohol use and fetal deficiencies in growth that emerged from France in the late 1950s Not until the 1960s was the correlation made between the number of defects and the increasing amount of babies born with the syndrome The term Fetal Alcohol Syndrome was coined to describe the pattern of the abnormalities found in some children born to alcoholic women It clearly was very noticeable and distinctive in the recognition of itself and was distinct from all other patterns of malformation in the fetus there
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