Alcohol in pregnancy has been in the media quite a bit lately. Some of the messaging you hear can be confusing. With International Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder Awareness Day coming on September 9th, we will be answering common questions that people have about this topic.
Question: Are there any types of alcohol considered to be safe in pregnancy?
Answer: Any kind or amount of alcohol consumed during pregnancy can be harmful. This includes liquor, beer, wine or coolers. Mocktails are a great alternative.
Question: What are the risks of drinking alcohol in pregnancy?
Answer: Drinking alcohol during pregnancy can cause permanent brain damage and other defects in your baby. It can also lead to:
- preterm birth
- Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD)
Question: What is FASD?
Answer: Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) is a lifelong disability that has no cure. FASD is a term used to describe the range of lifelong physical, mental, behavioural and learning disabilities that can occur only in individuals whose birth mother drank alcohol during pregnancy.
Question: Is FASD preventable?
Answer: Yes, FASD is totally preventable. The safest choice in pregnancy is no alcohol at all. In fact, it’s best to stop drinking before you get pregnant. It’s never too late to make positive changes!
September is FASD awareness month – join us in raising awareness about FASD and have an alcohol-free pregnancy!
If you or your partner are concerned about alcohol use in pregnancy, speak to your health care provider. You may also chat or speak with a Toronto Public Health nurse at (416) 338-7600.
There is no safe time, no safe kind, and no safe amount of alcohol use during pregnancy.