Friday, September 07, 2012
Perth District Health Unit
Sunday, September 9th is International FASD Awareness Day
International Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) Awareness Day, celebrated each year on the ninth day of the ninth month, is a great reminder that alcohol and pregnancy do not mix.
“Parents want the healthiest baby possible and having an alcohol-free pregnancy is a great start,” said Annette Hoyles, Public Health Promoter. “We want women to know that it’s best to stop drinking before you get pregnant, but it’s never too late to stop. The earlier you stop, the greater the chance of having a healthy baby.”
The message that it is unsafe to drink alcohol while pregnant is not a new one. However, it is estimated that at least 1% of people living in Canada today have some form of FASD – that’s about 300,000 people across the country. It is still very important for all women who are or may become pregnant to know that there is no safe time to drink during pregnancy, and no safe amount or type of alcohol to drink.
FASD refers to a broad range of defects and disabilities that are due to a mother consuming alcohol during her pregnancy. During pregnancy, alcohol passes freely from a mother to her baby, placing the baby at risk for FASD. Some of the permanent birth defects and brain damage may include:
- Vision and hearing difficulties
- Bones, limbs and fingers that are not formed properly
- Damage to the heart, kidney, liver and other organs
- Slow growth
- Learning disabilities, hyperactivity, difficulty with attention and memory
- Poor judgment and difficulties with problem solving.
Many pregnancies are not planned. Woman who drank alcohol before they knew they were pregnant can make a confidential phone call to Motherisk for helpful information. You can reach Motherisk by calling 1-877-327-4636 or visit www.motherisk.org.
For more information:
519-271-7600 ext 279