Different studies assert that pregnancy is a period of dramatic changes in woman’s life. It is a crisis time, when the woman goes through deep psychological changes, and makes absolute revision of her attitude towards herself and her own identity. These changes are usually described for adult women, but when the same process is happening to an adolescent, ‘the effect is often magnified’ (Cobliner 18). The psychological consequences of the pregnancy are various and vary in the wide range.
Pregnancy is altering the conscience of the woman, and thus she becomes preoccupied with different dreams and fantasies in relation to her future infant. But with some woman, especially young, all these fantasies are always much exaggerated, ‘The emotional confusion that surfaces in the pregnant woman may also cause her to blur the boundaries between ‘self’ and ‘other’ (Blos 24). With the child developing in the woman’s body, their identities often tend to merge, which happens on psychological and also on the physical level.
But this sense of merging will have its resolution at the moment the child is born, and thus the separation of mother and the child occurs. At times this process is too painful for the young mother, and she goes much harder through it, than it could happen to an adult. Speaking about fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS), it should be remembered, that alcohol is a drug, as any other drug. But it is used so often, that people often forget about it being a drug. The negative tendency displays itself in the fact that more than 60 percent of teenage girls drink and about a quarter of them have an alcoholic addiction (Chapar 280).
In their work on FAS, Schonfeld and Mattson note, that ‘FAS is caused by heavy alcohol consumption during pregnancy and is an entirely preventable developmental disability. The fact that prenatal alcohol exposure can produce adverse effects has been recognized for centuries. The central nervous system dysfunction in FAS affects the individual’s daily functioning and represents the most devastating effect of heavy prenatal alcohol exposure. Importantly, these behavioral and social deficits have a striking impact on the individual, family and society.
Children with prenatal alcohol exposure have poor social judgment, trouble learning from experience, failure to consider the consequences of their actions, difficulty understanding social cues, indiscriminant social behavior and difficulty communicating in social contexts. ’ According to Schonfeld and Mattson, alcohol is a teratogen, and ‘numerous studies have documented the adverse sequelae of prenatal exposure to alcohol over the past 30 years. ’ These authors also point out, that those, who have gone through prenatal alcohol exposure, usually show low moral and psychological maturity (Chapar 280).