Public Health is partnering with local area restaurants to offer free “mocktails” for moms-to-be, to support Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) Awareness Day on September 9, and to raise awareness of this disorder.
FASD is a preventable disorder that affects about 300,000 people in Canada (about one per cent of Canada’s population), including those living in our own community. Health Canada estimates that of every 1,000 babies born in Canada, nine suffer from FASD.
Drinking alcohol during pregnancy can result in restricted growth, facial abnormalities and permanent brain damage for the baby. The impact of alcohol exposure in pregnancy affects each person in different ways and can range in severity. The effects of FASD are not always visible at birth as many people with FASD do not have physical symptoms. Behaviour and learning problems such as speech and language delays, difficulty with attention, and learning disabilities often don’t appear until children get older. FASD leaves many children, teens and adults struggling with depression and anxiety, experiencing difficulties with social interactions and relationships, as well as other aspects of their lives.
“There is no safe time, no safe amount, and no safe kind of alcohol to drink during pregnancy,” stated health promoter Wia Baker. “If you are pregnant or planning a pregnancy, it is safest not to drink any alcohol.”
To help increase awareness of this preventable lifelong disorder, Public Health has partnered with local licensed establishments across Hastings and Prince Edward counties to offer free “mocktails” (alcohol-free cocktails) to expectant moms on Saturday, Sept. 9. The following establishments are participating: Tomasso’s Italian Grill, Bayview Golfing Centre, Boston Pizza-Trenton, Birdy’s Fine Casual Dining and Prince Edward Yacht Club.