By Nurse Diane
I love to bake. Most weekends you can find me in my kitchen baking up something sweet to share with friends and neighbors. I like trying out new recipes, but I have found, that if you don't follow them correctly, the treat I am baking just doesn't turn out right. The same can be said when you are "baking a bun in the oven". If you put the wrong ingredients in, the end results may not turn out just right.
I was recently talking to a friend of mine - many years ago, his sister was taking some medication prescribed from her doctor. At that time, it was not known about the possible birth defects caused by this drug. When the baby was born, there were several defects; one of them was hair covering the baby's face. Unfortunately, the baby only lived a few days.
This is National Alcohol and Other Drug-Related birth Defects Awareness Week. According to www.ncadd.org there are some startling facts
- Fetal alcohol syndrome disorders (FASD) – is the leading known cause of developmental disabilities in newborns (historically known as mental retardation) stems from maternal alcoholism or heavy drinking during pregnancy. Features of FASD include growth deficiency before and after birth, developmental delays, intellectual challenges, behavioral problems, changes in facial features such as a flattened mid-face, small jaw and/or a thin upper lip.
- Perinatal cocaine exposure - can result in obstetrical complications such as low birth weight, smaller head circumference, abnormal neonatal behavior and cerebral infarction at birth. Children with this exposure are easily distracted, passive and face a variety of visual and perceptual problems and difficulties with fine motor skills.
- Alcohol and Drug use During Pregnancy - in the US, 20% (about 1 million) of pregnant women smoke cigarettes; another 18% (about 750,000) women drink alcohol during pregnancy; another 6% (225,000) women use an illicit drug at least once while carrying a child to term.
Each May, NCADD and our National Network of Affiliates play a major and vital role across the US in educate people, especially women, about the dangers of consuming alcohol and using drugs during pregnancy. For More information on how you can help, visit their site by clicking here http://www.ncadd.org/index.php/programs-a-services/alcoholdrugs-related-birth-defects-awareness/191-ncadd-alcohol-a-other-drug-related-birth-defects-awareness-week
(All images from Google)