Abstract – The study identified small changes in the nose, lips and eyes of children of mothers who drank alcohol during pregnancy
Alcoholic beverages should be abolished during pregnancy (and breastfeeding, of course!). And a new study, from the Murdoch Children’s Institute in Victoria, Australia, reinforces this information by showing that small amounts of alcohol can cause subtle changes in the way the baby’s face develops.
The facial modifications found in babies of women who consumed less than 7 drinks per week and up to two doses at a time were similar. But, of course, much milder than the characteristics of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (SAF), which occurs because of interference of the substance in brain formation. “The possible changes in face in cases of APS are small palpebral fissures, short nose and thin upper lip,” explains Marcio Sakita, coordinator of Obstetrics at Hospital da Luz (SP).
To find out how small amounts of alcohol affect fetal development, the Australian researchers followed 1,570 women during gestation and delivery. Of these, 27% reported having consumed at least some alcohol during pregnancy. When the babies were 1 year old, the team took photos of the children’s faces from different angles and, analyzing the images, they were able to perceive the facial differences.
In cases of FAS, in addition to changes in the face, there may be congenital abnormalities, central nervous system abnormalities, growth retardation, and impairment in cognitive and behavioral development, low birth weight, premature delivery, fetal death, microcephaly, hearing, behavioral disorders and seizures.