To mark Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) Awareness Day (September 9th), the government is urging all Albertans to play a role in preventing FASD.
According to the Institute of Health Economics, approximately 46,000 Albertans are living with FASD, and 500 babies in Alberta will be born with FASD this year.
“Having a healthy baby isn’t just a mother’s responsibility. Partners, families, friends and caregivers all play an important role, supporting mothers throughout their pregnancy and offering help if needed. Our government is also there to help, by providing funding to 12 FASD service networks across our province that provide resources and assistance for expectant mothers, as well as individuals with FASD, their families and caregivers. By supporting mothers, we can help raise healthy children, strong families and resilient communities.”
There are a number of ways that partners, family members and friends can help expectant mothers. This can include supporting the expectant mother by joining her in avoiding alcohol during the pregnancy, helping her manage stress in a healthy way, as well as assisting her in seeking professional help, such as counselling or addiction services, if needed.
The Government of Alberta has provided $18.45 million for 2017-2018 to support assessment and diagnosis, prevention and support programs for those living with FASD.