VICTORIA – Infants who were exposed to alcohol in the womb can be born with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD), a condition with a range of physical, mental, behavioural and developmental effects – including brain damage and birth defects, in severe cases.
Throughout Canada, an estimated nine in every 1,000 infants are born with FASD, making it the leading preventable cause of developmental disability. While treatment and support are available for those who are affected, there is still no known cure.
There is no known level of safe consumption for women who are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or about to breastfeed. The safest choice is to drink no alcohol at all.
FASD has no preferred ethnicity, gender or social class, and it exists in communities throughout the world, including yours. On the occasion of FASD Prevention and Support Month (September) and FASD Prevention and Support Day (Sept. 9), the Ministry of Children and
Family Development would like to stress the importance of supporting women to be healthy and have healthy pregnancies, and of recognizing those who live with FASD every day of their lives.
If you are worried about your alcohol use, talk to your doctor, community health nurse, midwife or healthcare provider. Your local public health unit, health centre, Friendship Centre or health authority can all provide you with help, information and advice.
If you suspect that a family member may have FASD, talk with them about being diagnosed by a doctor. An early diagnosis can lead to interventions that will minimize the impact of FASD.