Partners, friends and families of expectant mothers are encouraged to help prevent Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) in Alberta.
To mark International FASD Awareness Day on Wednesday, September 9, the Alberta government reminds Albertans that services and information for pregnant women are available throughout the province.
Albertans can get more information at an open house on or around September 9.
“Children born with FASD are already at a disadvantage and their challenges continue into adulthood. There is no cure, but it is entirely preventable. We must all work together to prevent FASD and support women to have healthy pregnancies.”
Irfan Sabir, Minister of Human Services
Research from the Institute of Health Economics suggests approximately 46,000 Albertans are on the FASD spectrum, and they often need help with mental health, social services, housing, education and training, justice, addictions and family supports. That is why it is critical that people with FASD, caregivers and women of childbearing age get the support and information they need.
Resources available to Albertans
- People within an expectant mother’s social circle can help by keeping stress under control, being patient and supportive, and not being judgmental – women are less likely to seek professional help if they feel shamed or stigmatized.
- The Alberta government supports 12 FASD networks delivering services and programming across Alberta, including assessment and diagnosis for individuals and families.
- The Parent-Child Assistance Program supports women struggling with alcohol or drug addictions and is offered in 25 communities. After three years participating in the program, more than eight out of 10 women are either planning their pregnancies or having healthy babies.
- The Prevention Conversation: A Shared Responsibility provides training to workers in health and social services to have honest, respectful discussions with women of childbearing age about alcohol and pregnancy. Nearly three of four Albertans who have taken the training report using it in their work.