The first FASD Awareness Day was celebrated on September 9, 1999, where the date was chosen to signify the nine months of pregnancy as a reminder for women to abstain from alcohol.
FASD is a condition that describes a range of disabilities that result from a mother’s alcohol consumption during pregnancy. Health Canada estimates that nine in every 1,000 infants are born with FASD, which makes it the leading known preventable form of disability in Canada.
Babies born with FASD can have significant and lifelong challenges whom are at a high risk for developmental, and many physical and mental health issues. There is no known safe level of alcohol consumption for women in pregnancy and the safest choice is to not drink alcohol when pregnant.
"There are many people and organizations working on women's health and in the prevention of FASD in B.C. These programs are available to provide safe and supportive places for women to have conversations about the effects of drinking on their health and that of their baby, and to get help to stop drinking in pregnancy if they wish for assistance,"
says Nancy Poole, prevention research lead, CanFAD Research Network and director of the Centre of Excellence for Women's Health.
BC Women’s provides specialized services for women with substance use and infants that were exposed to drugs and alcohol. Families in Recovery Combined Care Service (FIR) provide care and support to women throughout their pregnancy and afterward including transition back to the community after giving birth. FIR offers a safe environment with access to a multidisciplinary team of doctors, nurses, social workers, addictions counsellors, nutritionists, recreational and art therapists.
Learn more about FASD at Canada FASD Research Network and find resources and research on women's health and FASD prevention.