Signs of FASD in infancy?

Hello, I am new here and I am terrified and tortured by guilt. To begin with the story I found out about my pregnancy 20 weeks along, up to then I had been consuming alcohol in significant amounts, worst - on 3rd week after conception I was on a holiday in Italy and drank a bottle of whine per evening for a full week in a row, after that up a bottle of whine was consumed several times on weekend evenings. After I found out about pregnancy I was at firts terrified because of the alcohol I had consumed, but as it was too late to consider abortion I soon tried to switch on to thinking positive.

8 moth ago I gave birth to much loved and adored baby daughter. I love her tremendously but since day 1 she have been proving to be rather difficult and troubled little creature. Thus my fears have been growing every day, while caring for her, almost not an hour goes by that I think of weather I have caused her disability and lot of problems to deal with through the life. My guilt and anxiousness are starting to begin to interfere with my ability to be best mother I should be. I would do anything, ANYTHING to undo my stupidity and I deserve to be judged, but my little girl does not deserve the punishment me alone should be facing.

I live in country where health and social service would not help us in current situation. I know it is early for diagnosis but please those who have had experience with infants later diagnosed with FASD, could you share your experience, what were the first signs displayed by the kids later diagnosed withFASD?

She was born at good weight (90%) and normal head circumference (60%), her lip and philitrium seem to me normal, eyes though have very small epichantal folds and the distance between eyes is rather bit big, but so was mine on infancy pictures.

The main issues on our table currently are that she sleeps slightly less that she should at her age, her sleep is very disruptive - 8 month and I still feed her every 2 hours at night, she is very cranky child and seems mostly to be not content. She is rather hyperactive and restless, won't play alone (even 3 min). She constantly needs to be held in arms. She don't like solids much. She is friendly with most strangers, though have also shows some uncomfortability or fear with strangers. She does have good eye contact.

She have reached all physical milestones in average timing. Her one side is bit weaker than the other one, but this is probably due to birth trauma.

Please share your experiences with infants with FASD, have they been similar or what have been the first red flags for you?

Tank you!

7 Replies

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  • I'm afraid I cannot comment on how my boy was as an infant, but I did want to reply to you. You did not know you were pregnant so you must not think that you deserve to be punished, you don't. Your daughter may be showing signs of FASD or could it be related to the birth trauma you mentioned?

    I hope that someone a bit more qualified than me answers you and can give you some pointers. I just wanted to let you know that your post had been seen and that nobody here will be judging you.

  • If you need more support contact the UK & European Birth Mother Network -FASD , lots of info and identification from women who have had similar journeys to yourself

  • Both my boys are adopted so I didn't experience early infancy, but according to their foster parents they were both fairly easy babies, and that is the experience I had with them from around 9 months. I just want to wish you luck and encouragement, many of us drink more than is good for us, don't beat yourself up about something you didn't know about, just focus on doing your best for your child now. Focus on one thing at a time (I'd say getting help with her sleep?) so you can enjoy her more. Don't worry too much about the future (very hard I know) , even if you knew you had a diagnosis of FASD, you still wouldn't know how much your child will be capable of and how much she will need you as the condition can vary a lot. Good luck!

  • Thank you all for supportive words and also the for the European Birth Mothers Network recommendation, I will contact them, I desperately need to talk to somebody.

  • You can also call 01608 811599 or email familysupport@fasdtrust.co.uk as they have lots of info too and could give you some specific support where you live, not just about FASD but for you as a new mum. Best wishes to you and your beautiful little one.

  • Hi there,

    Please don't feel guilty, you are doing a great job in looking out for any signs and symptoms and I am sure your post will be a great help to lots of other mum's in similar situations. So rest assured, you are not only helping your daughter, but others too. Well done.

    My daughter came to us when she was 7 months old, she is now 7 years old. She did suffer with insomnia and this has lessened over the years. Lots of calming, soothing techniques before bed, massages with baby cream etc , soft blankets, soft toys etc. Similarly she did not like strangers and would physically 'back away' if she was not familiar with the person. Although intially delayed in her milestones (ie I noted she was not digging in her heels and attempting to stand when she sat on my knee), she very quickly began to exceed her milestones. Although she remains fairly hyperactive.

    Also, my daughter has recently seen a physiotherapist, and has a 'rotated trunk' and hypermobility of joints, it was just with you mentioning her weak side etc, so may need to get a good physical examination to check out her spine/joints etc all ok.

    Hope this helps...keep up the good work!

  • Thank you dianakitten15 for sharing your story and for supportive words. We are seeing physiotherapist, in fact today again. Its been very helpful and sure will make difference in long perspective. Will do everything to help my girl.

    My heart goes out to all affected kids out there, wish them best possible outcome possible!

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