Alcoholic Fathers Pose A Risk of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome In Their Offsprings

fetal alcohol syndrome

According to new research, fathers who consume alcohol before getting pregnant may have fetal alcohol syndrome. This study puts fathers as well as mothers under pressure to reduce their alcohol usage. The results show that instead of just focusing on mothers’ contributions, which has been the case in most studies to date, research needs to look at the father’s participation in fetal alcohol syndrome.

However, new research has discovered that a father’s alcohol consumption has a greater impact on several craniofacial features than maternal alcohol exposure.

Dr Michael Golding, the lead author, said,

We found that male exposures actually drive certain craniofacial differences much stronger than maternal exposures do, so this programming effect that’s coming through sperm has a profound effect on the organization of the face and the growth and proportion of different facial features

When it was the dad drinking, we saw a profound shift in the organization of the face

Fetal alcohol syndrome has a complicated diagnosis. Doctors can confirm the fetus’s exposure to alcohol through the mother’s drinking habits during pregnancy. However, this poses challenges because mothers deny consuming alcohol during their pregnancy.

Golding said,

When doctors suspect a child has FAS, they sit down with the mother to confirm the diagnosis by discussing her drinking habits during pregnancy

It’s not uncommon for the mother to deny consuming alcohol while pregnant. When they do, there’s this stigma or this notion that women are lying about their alcohol use.” 

The researchers experimented on mouse models to compare the effects of alcohol consumption by the parents and mother and father individually before conception. They detected craniofacial deformities in the kids when each parent drank alcohol identical to that found in human children. However, the defects were higher when the father drank.

Outlining the impact of alcohol use before conception can have a positive effect on the current alcohol policy.

Golding explains,

Change the alcohol warning label to remove the maternal emphasis and put it on both parents to say, ‘The decision to consume this beverage can have significant, life-changing consequences to a future child

Right now, the warning label only conveys part of the story. We must get that message out into the world as quickly as possible


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here