FASD Awareness Day
“FASD: Let's talk about it” is the theme that community groups in Saskatchewan chose for FASD Awareness Day this year. September 9th is Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) Awareness Day. Saskatchewan communities will be hosting community walks, breakfast gatherings, presentations about FASD, and a variety of other events. Their mission is to increase understanding around this disability and to help prevent it.
During the 9 months of pregnancy, the unborn baby (fetus) is growing and developing. The mother feeds and nourishes her baby through the placenta and umbilical cord. Everything a mother eats and drinks is shared with her fetus. Alcohol is a dangerous teratogen (poison) that attacks the cells of the developing baby, causing cell death and damage. The result for the baby can be physical and neurological damage. This can lead to behaviour and learning difficulties that will have an impact on the child and family and permanently affect their lives. http://fasdcenter.samhsa.gov/educationTraining/courses/CapCurriculum/competency1/effects1.cfm
FASD is the leading cause of cognitive disabilities in Canada. Recent research suggests that as many as 7 in 100 babies have an FASD. It is often considered an 'invisible' disability because of the damage to the brain. For many children affected by alcohol prenatally, what is 'visible' are the resulting behaviour difficulties, learning problems, and the struggles to 'fit in'.
At the Prevention Institute, we know that everyone wants a healthy baby. Women who plan their pregnancies and choose not to drink for 9 months will not have children with FASD. Those who have unplanned pregnancies and quit drinking as soon as they find out they are pregnant, reduce the risk of alcohol-related harm to the fetus.
We also know that there are women who struggle with alcohol and need support. This is not just a woman’s issue. We all have a responsibility to respect and support a woman’s choice not to drink when she is pregnant.
"FASD: Let's tweet about it." Join us and other communities in Canada and internationally on September 9th on Twitter. Use the hashtag #FASD to join the conversation and spread the word. Our mission is to make FASD a trending topic for that day and increase awareness world-wide! If you are not already on twitter, sign up now. https://twitter.com/signup
Together, we can prevent FASD.