Anyone informed on fetal alcohol sydrome? Please see if you have time, very long post

Michelle - posted on 08/30/2012 ( 19 moms have responded )

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So I feel terrible admitting this, but when I got pregnant in July 2011 I never quit drinking or smoking cigarettes completely. I think from the time I found out I was pregnant to about 4 or 5 months or so I probably had about 5 or 6 nights of heavy drinking. I had a CVS test done when I was about 4 months pregnant and everything was fine. The doctor said no down syndrome, or any other genetic disorders were detected. I also had ultrasounds throughout my pregnancy and told my doctor about my excessive drinking and smoking. The doctor didn’t seemed worried and kept assuring me everything would probably be fine, and each time they watched the baby’s movement and looked at body parts and said everything was fine. To my discouragement one doctor told me even if the brain and head looked completely normal on an ultrasound there is still a 50% chance of the baby could have mental problems.

After 24 weeks I completely quit smoking and hadn’t had one drink. The rest of my pregnancy went fine and no problems appeared. In May I gave birth to a baby girl and went past my due date by about 9 or 10 days. She was born at almost 9 pounds and had normal Apgar scores. However she is now 4 months old and I can’t help but think something might not be right about her. Her facial features seem very normal and the doctors have told me her development is great for her age and right on track. She is extremely strong and shows interest in many things.

However, I’ve been breastfeeding her now since she was born and she suffers from colic. At first she would cry and scream all day, she would be extremely fussy and nothing would sooth her. At about 3 months she got a little better but still she would scream and cry for no reason at all and when she screams she really lets it out. She could be lying down completely fine then one minute later she will just start screaming. She also is very hyper and super active, she doesn’t sleep much and is hard to get to bed. I’m wondering if my daughter had fetal alcohol syndrome would delivery doctors or her pediatrician know right away when she was born or is this something they wouldn’t pick up until later? Is this sort of screaming or behavior normal? My friend was actually the one who pointed the screaming out to me saying babies who suffer from fetal alcohol syndrome have loud piercing screams that come out of nowhere. Please give me your feedback, I feel so terrible and unsettled about this. If anyone has been through this or has advice on what to do next or how to check for this please let me know. I want to tell myself because my CVS test came out completely normal everything is fine and will be fine, but that may not be the case.

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Keya - posted on 09/11/2012

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Michelle Sanders* "...that’s just our society making you feel guilty! Over 1000 years ago breastfeeding was best when nothing was sterile and food was scarce as it was! Feeding infants this way was their only means of survival."



This is not fully true. Breastfeeding was then and STILL IS the best thing for your child, unless, you're on drugs/ have HIV (when it still might be possible to breasfeed) or have issues like yours where your diet could directly affect the content of your breast milk. Please do not disseminate false info. It is the formula companies - and NOT SOCIETY- that would have you believe that synthetically produced substances are just as good and so much more convenient, but they are not. They are made from chemicals to mimic breast milk, but they can never fully compare in nutrition, so please remember that. PLUS, the sterile argument doesn't hold much water either. Bottles and all the formula paraphernalia constantly need sterilising and it is soooo much more work to make sure everything is clean. And yet, here is your crawler, picking up stuff off the ground and putting in his/her mouth. Sterility is overrated in this day and age. Ever seen the magic of breast milk clearing up an infant's cold? Or blocked tear duct? It's liquid gold, I tell you.

It's great that you breastfed this long, and if you really must give up, that's entirely your prerogative. Although I must say that a slightly bigger effort on your part with a doctor that will work with your baby's dietary needs could help you with continuing to breastfeed, but that will need your commitment. My point is solely about the info you put out being untrue.

Bekki - posted on 09/11/2012

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Sounds like it could be silent reflux to me. My Bubs had it bad. A Chiro fixed it in 2 sessions.

Lise - posted on 09/10/2012

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Cutting out dairy may fix the screaming. Just one thing to consider - formula is made with dairy or soy, and many babies sensitive to dairy are also sensitive to soy. A friend stopped nursing to go to formula only to find out the formula made her son worse, and she couldn't afford the super expensive soy/dairy free formula.

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Teri - posted on 04/03/2013

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Michelle I am so sorry that you are going through this. What I have learned from raising a child with fetal drug syndrome (same as FAA) is this there is no rime or reason one child can be exposed and show effects and another can have the same exsposure and no effects. This info came from countless experts. The problem I learned is this in the first trimester the human brain is developed and this is when problems (can) happen. As others have said doctors will not be able to tell until your child is a little older because they need to see milestones in development. So my advice to you is this dont make yourself crazy with worry it will do you no good. Just enjoy your little one and make sure to take time for yourself and forgive yourself. If you ever need someone to talk with I am here.

Marne - posted on 10/11/2012

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My son had a screaming month, and it turned out to be refulx. And since then he has been super fussy and woudn't sleep. I cut out dairy and changed to soya formula (I did not breastfeed either). And his problems seem to be solved... good luck.

Sarah - posted on 09/27/2012

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I know this is a bit off the subject of the original post. I have read a few posts that talk about the facial features being deciding factors of FAS. Though facial features can give indication of FAS it is not the ONLY thing that determines FAS. The majority of FAS kids/people do NOT have distinct facial features. It all depends on what is developing at the time of consumpstion of alcohol. So during the time those facial features are developing if you don't drink then those are not going to be affected....but the brain could still be affected.



For the original poster....this is in NO MEANS meaning your child is FAS. As many have said your child might be just acting like a normal child. I think it is good you are concerned....Do some reading on FAS and FAE (fetal alcohol effect)....effect is the more common.

Melanie - posted on 09/27/2012

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Hello.



FAS depends on many factors... your metabolisim, when you drank during the pregnancy, how much and other factors. I am not a medical professional, just someone who has worked with youth and adults with FAS. They say that diagnosis should be done young, I think between 2 and 3 years as that is when the facial features are easiest to assess. Have you checked out the sites on FAS to get current and accurate information? That's your best bet :)



With all that said, all babies are different and like many of the posts before state, it is very possible she is exhibiting normal baby behaviours :)



I am not trying to scare you or anyone for that matter, but I would read up on it. I too have a friend who didnt drink or smoke and had a colic baby for many months.



You are a smart woman to acknowledge things and ask questions! Many do not... but you have on their behalf.



Enjoy your baby, they are miracles!!!!

Heather - posted on 09/15/2012

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My daughter is 8 weeks now and had similar symptoms, but I didn't drink or smoke at all. She has both silent reflux and colic and before she was put on zantac she would just scream out randomly in pain all throughout the day. It doesn't sound like fetal alcohol syndrome to me, that typically would be very noticable and doctors would be able to tell. Hang in there, babies cry and as long as your baby is gaining weigh and is on track developmentally (which sounds to be true), I am sure everthing is normal... But I would definatley look into the possibility of silent reflux. Hope this helps!

Holli - posted on 09/11/2012

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Everyone is covering the screaming well. FAS is not usually diagnosed until they are over a year old (around 18 months +) as it is based on behavior and developmental milestones. In some ways, it can mimic Autism. Many signs of FAS won't show up until later in childhood. ADHD can't even be diagnosed until age 5.



Try to sit back and relax. Enjoy your child now. Keep a journal of your observations and if your baby starts missing their milestones, chart it. Also chart every milestone, as if/when you see a doctor regarding this, they will want to know everything.



I know a little bit about the process as a friend's son was diagnosed with FAS at age 3 and my oldest daughter with Autism at age 2.

Michelle - posted on 09/09/2012

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Thank you for responding Alina. I wanted to message you because I am having a lot of anxiety and stress over having the drinks I had during my pregnancy. Did you drink during your 2nd trimester? How much? I binged throughout my first and 2nd trimester thinking I was going to abort(Everyone urged and pushed me but I realized it wasn’t what I ever wanted to do). Did your child develop normally and on track? I’m also glad to hear your little one is doing well, full sentences for his age is very good. I breastfed because I wanted to try and fill any gaps I may have destroyed or took away during my pregnancy. I hope it can suffice. I feel so bad like I may have cheated my daughter out of her life.

Michelle - posted on 09/09/2012

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I agree I don’t always agree with medical professionals. They don’t always take a custom approach and try to generalize things a bit to much. All babies are not the same. Don’t let anyone tell you you’re overanxious, you sound like an amazing caring mom and your little boy is lucky to have a mom who cares so much about him. Keep doing what you’re doing and don’t be down about the breastfeeding. The medical world is full of questions and uncertainty, a few years ago I remember reading a study done saying breastfeeding was bad. As moms all we can do is raise our little ones the best we can. Some things are just out of our hands.

Alina Mom Of - posted on 09/06/2012

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First of all judging another person is not my thing! I also drank some when I was pregnant with my last baby, he's 3 now and just started talking in full 8 word sentences just over the past few weeks. I had alot of anxziety over that. That's awesome that your breastfeeding!! If there's anything there that the dr.'s are missing I believe can be rectified from your (her) diet! And maybe she could be reacting to something your eating.

Are you open to herbs or natural forms of healing? Some things you could try are: coconut oil it is a medium chained fatty acid & is awesome for brain tissue ( it's even helped alziemers );

fish oil for omega 3's; vitamins ( pre-natal ); and just eating healthy will help ; try and stay away from processed food's, if you can try & get as much organic and natural food's as you can.



I really hope this helps - take care & just relax & enjoy your sweet pea! :)

Sandra - posted on 09/03/2012

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Hey thanks for your kind reply re breast feeding, it's amazing the amount of people online force it on you and make you feel guilty! I have lost a lot of faith in the medical profession in my area, I was regarded as an over anxious first time mum :( its the worse feeling in the world not being able to pacify your baby, go with your gut feeling and do not take doctors advice as gospel, this is something I have learned throughout the difficult journey! Do not listen to anyone saying that your baby shouldn't be cryin the way it does or there's something wrong such as alcohol syndrome, my sister has a boy 2 weeks younger than my little one and he's super settled and perfect, I wouldn't change my wee man for the world, the endless crying was his way of coping and he is so much more settled! I was given gaviscon to help with reflux which worked okay but to be honest I opted against giving him medication! If you are thinking of going onto formula and your wee one is diagnosed with reflux you could ask for enfamil ar, it's great tho can cause constipation. Really hope you get sorted soon but honestly babies cry and don't let anyone question your parenting, only parent with a difficult child truly understand, I hope uve plenty of support, my parent etc couldn't last anymore than an hr lol, all the best x

Michelle - posted on 09/02/2012

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Thanks to everyone for the advice and for responding. I’m trying to cut out dairy but it’s very difficult and I’m ready to switch to formula any day now, which by the way I don’t feel is a bad thing at all! Sandra, don’t feel bad about not breastfeeding, that’s just our society making you feel guilty! Over 1000 years ago breastfeeding was best when nothing was sterile and food was scarce as it was! Feeding infants this way was their only means of survival. I also looked up silent reflux and those symptoms really match up to what my daughter goes through. Today things are very different and humans thrive off cow’s milk. Today my daughter had another screaming fit and this one seemed to last for a good 30 minutes. I wish I could help her, but her pediatrician suggests nothing and seems not to acknowledge any kind of problem exists.

Also thank you Amy for those helpful links!

Jocelyn - posted on 09/02/2012

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I don't know anything about FAS, but while breast feeding I noticed my baby was sensitive to everything I ate and would go through painful gassy spells. I eliminated all spicy, greasy, and fried foods from my diet and he was a fuss-free baby from then on. Good luck.

Sandra - posted on 08/31/2012

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Also ask your doctor to rule out silent reflux, the fact your wee one is screaming when put down could be a sign of this, it's so hard to tell with babies, mostly trial and error unfortunately

Sandra - posted on 08/31/2012

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Hey ur baby sounds exactly like mine, he's now 4 1/2 months and has been so unsettled since birth, I quit smoking and drinking completely as it was a planned pregnancy! Babies with alcohol syndrome have strange facial features (sorry for putting it that way). I know many people would disagree but I have ended up putting my baby on nanny care goats milk and he is thriving and super settled since the third day of being on it, have u considered a milk allergy? It turned out my son was allergic to cows milk protein, i see your breast feeding which is great (I regret and feel so guilty not trying harder at it) try cutting out dairy etc which can cause excessive wind in babies! My paed recommended nutramagin aa formula but my son would not take it at all! There is light at the end of the tunnel, u could make a few changes to your diet and see how it goes, also gas drops are great, we use dentinox colic drops or gripe water! My son is only starting now to sleep in his own cot and taking regular naps, it does get easier although I shall never forget the endless nights of screaming, you sound like a super mum so stick at it and hope your wee one settles soon x

Amy - posted on 08/31/2012

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http://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/fasd/facts.htm...



http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/fetal-a...



Based on what I read no it doesn't sound like she has it. Babies scream and cry because they have no other way of communicating with us. This is your daughters way of saying she's tired, hungry, needs changing, wants to be held, a change of scenery, or is in pain/discomfort. Some babies scream and cry more than others.



If you are still concerned you should discuss your concerns with your pediatrician but like I said based on what I read and what you wrote she isn't showing any signs of FAS.

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