Give Your Baby the Best Start in Life – Don't Drink During Pregnancy
Foetal Alcohol Syndrome or FAS is a common, preventable form of intellectual disability and a serious public health problem in the Western Cape. FAS affects children by slowing their physical growth and results in central nervous system abnormalities. Children are born with FAS when their mothers drink alcohol while they are pregnant. Alcohol can cause irreversible damage to the developing foetus.
Mothers need to be educated and informed of the consequences of FAS on their children and they need to be counselled on the dangers of drinking during pregnancy.
Apart from physical abnormalities, children with FAS 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 FAS 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 from where the child will be referred to the most appropriate service for further assessment.
Risk factors associated with FAS include:
How To Get Advice
If you are a first-time visitor to a health facility, you will be asked to fill out a form and a folder will be opened. Bring your ID book, any medication you are taking and a clinic or hospital card, if your were previously registered at the facility. You should also bring the child's Road to Health Chart. If you are worried about your alcohol consumption, or have questions to ask the health worker, please do so.
Various private organisations can also help with advice on foetal alcohol syndrome:
These facility categories:
|Government Body:||(Western Cape Government)|
- Foetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS): Provincial Standardised Training Manual (Public Information) (File type: pdf; size: 437.57 KB)
- Post-Natal (After Birth) Health Care (Service)
- Human Genetic Services (Birth Defects) (Service)