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Help Give Babies a Healthy Start

SIMCOE, SEPTEMBER 7, 2010 – When it comes to alcohol and pregnancy, the choice is clear: have an alcohol-free pregnancy. If women drink alcohol during pregnancy, they are putting their babies at risk of permanent brain damage.

“There is no safe type, no safe amount, and no safe time to drink alcohol during pregnancy,” said Michelle Pasichnyk, Health Promoter with the Haldimand-Norfolk Health Unit. “Having ‘just a few drinks’ is not a responsible choice.”

Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) is the most common form of preventable brain damage to infants in North America. According to the Public Health Agency of Canada, FASD affects approximately 1% of people living in Canada. This means that there are currently 300,000 individuals living with FASD in Canada.

Unfortunately, FASD cannot be cured. People live with FASD for their entire life and often have special needs that require help. Completely avoiding alcohol during pregnancy is the best and the safest choice for helping to give babies a healthy start.

“If you are planning a pregnancy, or if you are not using reliable birth control, avoid alcohol,” noted Pasichnyk. “Friends, family and community members can all offer support and help pregnant women to not drink.”

In an effort to raise awareness of FASD, the local Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder Advocacy Committee will be hosting a BBQ fundraiser at Sobey’s, 438 Norfolk St. S. in Simcoe, on Thursday, September 9th between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. Additional information and resources on FASD, along with creative non-alcoholic drink recipes, will be available at the BBQ.

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Media contact:
Michelle Pasichnyk
Health Promoter
Substance Misuse Prevention Program
Haldimand-Norfolk Health Unit
Ext. 3274 at either 519-426-6170 or 905-318-6623
[email protected]