If a woman drinks alcoholduring pregnancy, she risks damaging her baby. Sometimes this can result inmental and physical problems in the baby, called foetal alcohol syndrome.

This can occur because alcohol in the mother's blood passes to her baby through the placenta.

The baby can't process alcohol as well as the mother can, which means it can damage cells in their brain, spinal cord and other parts of their body, and disrupt their development in the womb.

This can result in the loss of the pregnancy. Babies that survive may be left with the lifelong problems described below.

Foetal alcohol syndrome is a type of foetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD), the name for all the various problems that can affect children if their mother drinks alcohol in pregnancy.

This page covers:

Symptoms of foetal alcohol syndrome

What to do if you think your child hasit

Treatment and support


Content supplied by the NHS Website

Medically Reviewed by a doctor on 17 Jan 2017