Parenting · Pregnancy

FASD: Reduce the risk

Alcohol and pregnancy – a topic that has been around for generations and many people have different opinions on. This is discussed in our prenatal programs, and common questions asked are:

“Isn’t it OK to have a glass of wine or cider on a special occasion during pregnancy?”

“One drink won’t hurt, right?”

“My mom drank alcohol when she was pregnant – so it should be fine for me”

Since there isn’t enough evidence to know how much harm any amount of alcohol during pregnancy may have, no alcohol is the safest choice if you are pregnant or planning to be pregnant.

To ensure the best outcome for yourself and your baby, it’s safest to stop drinking alcohol if you discover you are pregnant.

It is never too late to make healthy choices for you and your baby. Drinking alcohol during pregnancy, especially in the first 4 weeks, when you may not know that you are pregnant, may cause a baby to be born with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder or FASD.

What is FASD?

  • 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.

 FASD is 100% preventable.

 In 2013, RJ Formanek, an adult affected by FASD, wore red shoes to:

  1. Create conversation
  2. Be noticed and turn invisibility into visibility
  3. Change the stigma around FASD into understanding and acceptance

September kicks off FASD Awareness month with September 9th designated as International FASD Awareness Day.  Toronto Public Health (TPH) is joining the Red Shoes Rock campaign to help promote awareness.

We encourage you to wear your red shoes on September 9th and start the conversation to help spread the word that:

There is no safe amount, no safe type and no safe time to drink alcohol if you’re pregnant or while trying to get pregnant.

For more info, please speak with your health care provider or connect with a public health nurse via eChat or call 416-338-7600.

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