The FASD Trust
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Baby possibly has FASD, need advice for the future.

Hi, new poster, I am a birth mum but have not yet had the baby, I’m 35 weeks pregnant. I am currently in a mother and baby unit for my mental health as I have an extreme fear of the damage I have caused. Long story short I drank heavily (binged 11 times over 9 weeks, then stopped completely when I knew) and my baby has been diagnosed as having a cleft lip. The midwives and doctors have basically told me to prepare for a baby with FASD, they cannot be sure, but it seems likely with the marker and alchohol intake. I would love some advice, support, anything to try and make this a little easier to process. Thankyou x

6 Replies

Hello Meggxo

The good news is your babies brain will remain extremely neuroplastic during the first years of life, meaning it can flex adapt and change. Any support you can give your baby during this time will make a huge difference in the long term. It is a bit like setting two trains off on slightly different tracks, at the start of their journeys they seem to run side by side but miles down the track they are super far apart. Those tiny changes in early life make an enormous difference.

So what changes to make? The best one is to be calm and to love your baby so that it feels safe and secure. If you struggle with your own mental health one of the best ways to do this is to make sure you are as well as you can be. It is very easy for us to prioritise our childs needs over our own and of course we should do this, but your child will need you to be well so take care of yourself and allow others to care for you.

Another thing you can do is help your baby to practice some of the skills it might not be so good at if it has FASD. For example some children with FASD struggle to give visual attention, they struggle to look at things and follow them with their eyes - this is a skill all babies learn, so your baby - just like anyone else's baby - won't be born able to do it, but by giving them things that are really easy to look at, you can help them practice it, for example a bright red ball held against a dark matt cloth is easy to look at, where as that same ball held against a patterned red cloth is hard to look at.

If you look at the guides (they are free) at the bottom of this page, you may find more ideas

You are also welcome to come and make friends with me on facebook for further sensory ideas.

Best wishes

Joanna Grace

Founder of The Sensory Projects


PS I should have said, the baby feeling safe and secure is not simply a nice thing, it has a physical effect on the brain, if you can enable your baby to feel loved and safe their brain will wire for creativity and play - how wonderful!

1 like

Can I do the same? I have a beautiful little boy with fasd. I did it to him not knowing I was preg. I need support. The guilt is unbearable.


Yes of course x



Firstly, well done for reaching out and seeking support. Secondly, relax, relax and then relax some more! Get all the support you can for your mental health, let people help you. If you feel able look up Solihull, its an approach for interacting with babies, children and young people and has lots of useful information about early brain development and what you can do to support it. Just simple things, it’s nothing too difficult. Most health visitors train in it. I’m a school nurse and have done the training. When you know who your health visitor is you can ask about it but there is stuff online.

I also have 2 girls with FAS so understand your worries. But there is so much you can do in those early years. All children with FAS are different, there’s no way of knowing how your baby may or may not be affected. I read and researched everything and scared myself silly but you know what? My girls are amazing, bubbly happy kids. There has been tough times but we get through it. Take it all one step at a time and look after yourself. Get all the support you can as sadly there’s not much out there so grab what you can. In my experience not many professionals have much knowledge about FAS so educate yourself but know when enough is enough and leave it alone and enjoy living and growing with your baby and just being together, don’t let the FAS define your relationship. I wish you lots of luck and hope for the future x

1 like

Yep. I echo the other guys ... especially the looking after yourself thing. A counsellor once said to me that I was like the fire in the hearth keeping everyone (in my family) warm and if I went out... So it's important to 'feed yourself to keep your "inner flame' alight!

Just want to add that a really excellent way to have your babies brain develop well is by following attachment parenting techniques. (Lots of info online)

One technique is carrying baby on you (with a sling). It is very powerful (calms and releases good hormones for brain development) for a tiny baby who's nerves maybe more jangly than most and whose brain needs the extra stimuli of being close to you.

If you do this you might find it also calming and comforting for you too!

Wishing you all the best on your journey ahead.

Go well



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