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Welcome to the UC Davis MIND Institute and Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities (CEDD) resource page for Fetal Alcohol Syndrome

What is Fetal Alcohol Syndrome?

Fetal alcohol syndrome refers to growth, mental, and physical problems that may occur in a baby when a mother drinks alcohol during pregnancy.

Using or abusing alcohol during pregnancy can cause the same risks as using alcohol in general.  However, it poses extra risks to the fetus.  When a pregnant woman drinks alcohol, it easily passes across the placenta to the fetus.  Because of this, drinking alcohol can harm the baby's development.

As a result of drinking alcohol during pregnancy, the following symptoms may occur:

  • Poor growth while the baby is in the womb and after birth
  • Decreased muscle tone and poor coordination
  • Delayed development in thinking, speech, movement, or social skills
  • Heart defects
  • Structural problems with the face


The websites listed are independent of the UC Davis MIND Institute and Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities (CEDD).  Resources are provided for information only and do not reflect the opinions or endorsement of the UC Davis MIND Institute and Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities.

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