Monthly Archives: February 2015

Preventing FASD Through Education & Resources: Best Start Resource Centre

The Best Start Resource Centre: Ontario’s Maternal Newborn and Early Child Development Resource Centre is a key program of Health Nexus,  a bilingual health promotion organization that works with diverse partners to build healthy, equitable and thriving communities. The Best Start Resource Centre supports service providers who work in preconception health, prenatal health and early child development.

The Best Start Resource Centre produces multi-media resources in multiple languages on a broad range of topics related to preconception health, prenatal health, and early child development. Most of their resources can be downloaded free of charge and many of them can be adapted for local use.

A great resource is their ‘Mocktails For Mom’. This handy brochure provides some straight up facts about alcohol use and pregnancy, tips for making healthy drinks and moctail recipes. We have order and distributed hundreds of these brochures at presentations, community events, anywhere and everywhere (no point in recreating a resource when a fabulous one exists).

Tips for making healthy drinks include: 

  • No alcohol
  • Use no more than 4 oz. of juice per drink
  • Use 100% juices, fruit nectars, fruit cocktails or fruit drinks
  • Use frozen yogurt instead of ice cream
  • Use 2%, 1% or skim milk instead of cream
  • Use sparkling water (soda water) instead of pop
  • Add pieces of fruit or vegetables to garnish
  • Save drinks that are higher in fat, sugar or calories for special occasions

For more great resources visit: 


Click to download brochure!

Harm Reduction and Pregnancy: Community-based Approaches to Prenatal Substance Use in Western Canada


Click to download!

Girls, Women, Alcohol, and Pregnancy

Pages from HR and Preg Booklet_web

This 16-page booklet provides a short introduction to harm reduction approaches during pregnancy.

Harm Reduction refers to policies, programs and practices that aim to reduce the negative health, social and economic consequences that may ensue from the use of legal and illegal psychoactive drugs, without necessarily reducing drug use.

Harm reduction  can be an important approach to FASD prevention for women who struggle with addiction and related concerns and who are often at highest risk for having a child with FASD.

The booklet gives an overview of evidence-based harm reduction approaches during pregnancy and provides concrete examples from integrated maternity programs in Western Canada that work with women with substance use concerns.

Programs profiled include: Sheway in Vancouver, Maxxine Wright Place in Surrey, HerWay Home in Victoria, H.E.R. Pregnancy Program in Edmonton and Manito Ikwe Kagiikwe (The Mothering Project) in Winnipeg.

Other topics discussed include the role of housing, peer…

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Healthy You, Healthy Baby


Tips for a Healthy Pregnancy

  • Eat a well-balanced diet following Canada’s food guide.
  • Take a prenatal vitamin containing 0.4 – 1.0mg of folic acid for 3 months before you plan to become pregnant and throughout your pregnancy.
  • Exercise in moderation.
  • Avoid smoking and secondhand smoke.
  • Avoid alcohol of any kind. There is no safe amount of alcohol in pregnancy.
  • If you are having difficulty quitting smoking or drinking ask for help.

QuestioningWoman_43We’re trying to get pregnant. Is it safe to drink alcohol until I know for sure that I’m pregnant?

No. You may be pregnant for several days before your first missed period. No amount of alcohol is known to be safe when you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant. As little as one drink per day during pregnancy has been shown to cause behaviour and/or learning problems.

I’m on birth control. So there’s nothing to worry about, right?

Half of all pregnancies are unplanned. Even more surprisingly, 50% of unplanned pregnancies occur in women using some for of contraception. If you forget a pill or have unprotected sex even just once, you are at risk.

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Click to download brochure!

FASD Awareness Campaigns, Women and Alcohol

FASD-AwarenessPublic awareness raising campaigns targeting alcohol use during pregnancy are an important part of preventing prenatal alcohol exposure and Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder. Despite this, there is little evidence on what specific elements contribute to campaign message effectiveness. This research evaluated three different advertising concepts addressing alcohol and pregnancy: a threat appeal, a positive appeal promoting a self-efficacy message, and a concept that combined the two appeals. The primary aim was to determine the effectiveness of these concepts in increasing women’s intentions to abstain from alcohol during pregnancy.

Click to download full research article!

Midwives’ knowledge, attitudes and practice about alcohol

imgresMidwives are an influential profession and a key group in informing women about alcohol consumption in pregnancy and its consequences. There are no current quantitative Australian data on midwives’ knowledge, attitudes and practice in relation to alcohol consumption during pregnancy and Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder. This study aimed to reduce this knowledge gap by understanding midwives’ perceptions of their practice in addressing alcohol consumption during pregnancy.

Click to read full research! 

Too Young To Drink: FASD

Launched on September 9th 2014, on the occasion of the International Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders Day, TooYoungToDrink is a communication campaign to raise awareness of the risks of drinking alcohol during pregnancy conceived by Fabrica for the European FASD Alliance.

What do you think of this awareness campaign?

When Pregnant Women Drink: The families living with FASD

Edmonton and area Fetal Alcohol Network Society

An ITV documentary investigating the impact of drinking alcohol in pregnancy exposes the challenges families face when a child develops Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD).

Here are the stories of three women whose lives have been affected by the disorder.

Sam’s 11-year-old son Stanley has FASD

Sam's 11-year-old son Stanley is living with FASD.
Sam’s 11-year-old son Stanley is living with FASD. Credit: ITV/Exposure

I didn’t know of the damage I could cause my unborn baby. I drank to stop feeling, I drank because am an alcoholic. I didn’t think, I just drank. If I had stopped drinking without help and support I would have probably committed suicide.

Today I know that Alcoholism is a mental, physical and spiritual disease. One day at a time with the help and support I have around me, I haven’t had to drink for 10 years.

My little baby is a gorgeous 11-year-old boy who struggles with FASD and a world that…

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