Alcohol and pregnancy don’t mix
Albertans are encouraged to recognize and support Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) Awareness Day on September 9.
If a baby is exposed to alcohol in the womb, he or she may develop FASD. This is a lifelong condition with no cure. Husbands, partners, families, friends and community need to encourage and support women to not drink alcohol during pregnancy.
Albertans who need help or support are encouraged to drop into their local FASD Service Network. A network offers diagnosis, assessment, support and unique programs that meet local needs. For example, the South Alberta network has a program supporting pregnant women. The Mackenzie network offers a mentorship program for youth who may have FASD. Other networks are providing ground breaking programs for prevention and support.
“The 12 FASD Service Networks are welcoming places that aim to prevent FASD and support those with the disorder. The Government of Alberta is committed to continuing its leading work in FASD research, supports and prevention.”
Prenatal exposure to alcohol is a leading cause of preventable brain damage and birth defects. It’s unknown exactly how much alcohol causes FASD – that is why it is safest not to drink any alcohol in pregnancy. Children and adults with FASD may have a range of symptoms, including difficulty controlling behaviour and understanding consequences.
A unique, made in Alberta prevention strategy is being piloted in all FASD networks in Alberta. The Prevention Conversation: A Shared Responsibility aims to educate professionals and community workers who interact with pregnant women to discuss healthy pregnancies.
Albertans are encouraged to visit a network event on or around September 9 and to promote FASD awareness using the hash tag #abfasd.