Happy Father’s Day!: What Men Can Do To Help Prevent FASD

20150615125959-stay-at-home-dads-entrepreneurship-daughter-child-hugWith Father’s Day fast approaching, here are some helpful ways that Dads and Dads-to-be can help to support alcohol-free pregnancies!

Take a ‘pregnant pause’. If your partner,
friend, sister, co-worker or another woman you
know is pregnant, you may want to consider taking
a ‘pause’ from drinking as a way of showing support.
Whether it’s for a month, three months or the entire
pregnancy, remaining alcohol-free can be helpful and
encouraging for many women

Be a good host. When entertaining friends or
family or having a night out, offer non-alcoholic
beverages and avoid pressuring women to drink
(pregnant or not). Some women continue to drink
alcohol during pregnancy because they have a hard
time saying ‘no’ when it is expected that they drink in
certain social situations or when they haven’t told others
about their pregnancy. As a host offer ‘mocktails’ and
other non-alcoholic options for drinks, and make sure
that everyone feels part of the fun whether or not they
are drinking alcohol.

Minimise harms. Most of us don’t drink on our
own — our drinking habits are shaped by those
around us. Support a ‘culture of moderation’ by taking a
look at your own drinking and working to minimize any
harmful effects that your own drinking might have on
yourself or others. Taking a look at Canada’s Low Risk
Drinking Guidelines is a good place to start (www.ccsa.
ca).

Help change negative perceptions.
When talking about FASD and alcohol use during
pregnancy, avoid being critical of women who do drink
during pregnancy or blame women for not caring about
their babies or for being ignorant. This type of judgment
creates a climate of fear and shame where women can
feel discouraged and avoid seeking help to address
their problems with alcohol. It also prevents us all from
having productive conversations about how to prevent
FASD.

Be compassionate. For some women,
stopping drinking can be a struggle. Often,
drinking can be a way for women to cope with difficult
life circumstances such as depression or isolation.
Assume that women are doing the best they can and let
them know that you’re willing to help when they’re ready
to make a change.

Be an active role model. Confusion
about what is a safe level of alcohol use during
pregnancy remains. Support pregnant women by telling
family, friends, and anyone offering her alcohol that
there is no safe time to drink alcohol during pregnancy
and no safe amount.

Support pregnant women no matter
what. Pregnancy can be a time of enormous
pressure and scrutiny for women. Women receive
advice and information from health care providers,
websites, friends, family, and even random strangers.
Respect the choices that women make to keep
themselves and their babies healthy. It’s never too late
for a woman to stop drinking during pregnancy or to
make other healthy changes in her life.

Remember that healthy babies need
healthy mothers. During pregnancy, the
effect of alcohol on the fetus is influenced by things like
nutrition, stress, other substance use, and numerous
other factors. Support women’s health before, during,
and after pregnancy. This contributes to a society where
women’s health and well-being is valued in of itself and
all the time rather than only during pregnancy.

Remember that FASD affects everyone.
Many people continue to believe that only certain
groups of women drink alcohol during pregnancy or
are responsible for FASD. Remind people that FASD
occurs wherever pregnant women drink alcohol and
that discrimination prevents us from having frank
conversations about the root causes of FASD and
overall solutions.

Retrieved from: https://fasdprevention.files.wordpress.com/2014/02/what-men-can-do-_final-feb-2014.pdf

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