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Prevention & Care for Fetal Alcohol Syndrome in Central California

Fetal alcohol syndrome refers to a collection of health problems in a baby that result from exposure to alcohol in the womb. Drinking alcohol during pregnancy can damage the developing brain of a fetus, which can lead to problems with intellectual and physical development. 

Fetal alcohol syndrome is a preventable condition. With comprehensive maternity services, the dedicated specialists with Dignity Health Central California help you plan for and maintain a healthy pregnancy.

To learn more about preventing fetal alcohol syndrome in Central California, Find a Doctor online.


Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Symptoms

Fetal alcohol syndrome can affect various parts of the body and cause a wide range of abnormalities.

Common symptoms include:

  • Learning problems, including a low IQ and difficulty concentrating
  • Poor coordination and muscle tone
  • Birth defects, including congenital heart disease
  • Deformed joints, limbs, or fingers
  • Speech, vision, or hearing problems 

These symptoms are lifelong and do not go away as the baby gets older.


What Causes Fetal Alcohol Syndrome?

Drinking alcohol during pregnancy can affect a fetus as it develops in the womb. Exposure to alcohol, even during early stages of growth, can interfere with normal brain, heart, and organ development.

Research doesn’t suggest a certain amount of alcohol is OK. It’s best to not drink alcohol at all if you’re planning to become pregnant or are already pregnant.


Treating & Preventing Fetal Alcohol Syndrome at Dignity Health Central California

Treatment can’t reverse the signs and symptoms of fetal alcohol syndrome. However, many babies born with this condition can lead healthy lives with the help of ongoing medical care, educational classes, and rehabilitation support.

You can reduce your risk of having a baby with fetal alcohol syndrome. If you need help quitting alcohol, your doctor can connect you with alcohol treatment programs. We’re dedicated to preventing fetal conditions, including fetal alcohol syndrome. Read our health tips for getting pregnant and visit a Dignity Health Central California doctor for comprehensive maternity care.

Dignity Health Central California offers prevention and treatment services for fetal alcohol syndrome in Bakersfield, Merced, and Stockton, CA.

Learn more about the Lauren Small Children's Center

Lauren's Story

The Lauren Small Children's center is named after Lauren Paige Small, a Bakersfield girl who inspired the community through her brave two-year battle with cancer.

Read Lauren's story