Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS) Prevention and Treatment
Give your baby the best start in life – No amount of alcohol is safe during pregnancy.
Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) happens when a pregnant woman uses alcohol during pregnancy (Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS) is the most severe form of this condition). This is a serious public health problem in the Western Cape. Children with FASD have permanent brain damage, presenting as developmental delays with learning and behavioural problems. If mothers expose children to alcohol during pregnancy, they can be born with FASD. There's no cure, but it's 100% preventable. Alcohol can cause irreversible damage to the developing fetus.
Mothers and women of childbearing age need to be educated and informed of the consequences of FASD.
Partners and family members can support by abstaining from alcohol for the duration of a pregnancy.
For pregnant mothers, a prenatal history will be obtained, and a full assessment done by a specialist.
Children with FASD can also have neurological, behavioural, and learning problems. Programmes are currently being developed to identify and assist high-risk mothers and to diagnose children with FASD as early as possible.
Although many of these children experience learning problems, stimulation and management programmes are being developed to assist parents and caregivers. Should a parent/caregiver or teacher be worried about a child, the child can be taken to the nearest clinic, which will refer the child to the most appropriate service for further assessment.
Risk factors associated with FASD include:
How To Get Advice
If you are a first-time visitor to a health facility, you will need to fill out a form, and the health facility will open a folder for you. Bring your ID book, any medication you are taking and a clinic or hospital card if someone previously registered you at the facility. You should also bring the child's Road to Health Booklet. If you are worried about your alcohol consumption or have questions to ask the health worker, please do so. There is support available for all living with FASD.
These facility categories:
|Government Body:||(Western Cape Government)|
- Fetal alcohol syndrome awareness programme (Public Information)
- Foetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS): Provincial Standardised Training Manual (Public Information) (File type: pdf; size: 437.57 KB)