Fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS) belongs to a group of disorders called fetal alcohol spectrum disorder. It is caused when a woman drinks alcohol during pregnancy. The alcohol can cause birth and developmental defects in the baby. These defects make up FAS.

Alcohol can cross from the mother's blood to the baby's blood. It is passed through the placenta. Even a small amount of alcohol can damage the fetus. It is not known how much alcohol it takes to cause defects. The risk increases with moderate to heavy drinking and with binging. But, even social drinking may pose a danger.

Any type of alcohol, including beer and wine, can cause birth defects.

Blood Traveling Through Mother's Placenta to Baby
baby fetus placenta
Alcohol travels through this path and affects the baby's development, particularly the heart and brain.
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