COVID, Alcohol and Unplanned Pregnancy

With coronavirus sweeping the globe, life is pretty different than it was at this time in 2019. Social distancing, working from home, or not working at all means many couples are spending a lot more time together and many predict a baby boom!

We Albertans are also buying a LOT more alcohol.  Drinking more means an increased risk of drinking during an unexpected pregnancy. 61% of pregnancies are unplanned and most women are unaware of their pregnancy for weeks, even months. Many babies are exposed to alcohol before parents know they’re “expecting.” That exposure can cause Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD), a lifelong disability impacting both the brain and the body. While each individual is unique and has areas of both strengths and challenges, those with FASD will experience some degree of difficulty in their daily living and need support to reach their full potential.

Many people think that it couldn’t hurt a baby to have a drink or two. It could.  So, if you drink alcohol and are sexually active:

  1. Use effective birth control if you are not planning a pregnancy. Ask your doctor about the best method for you.
  2. Plan your pregnancy and go alcohol-free before, during, and immediately after to prevent alcohol exposure. That goes for Dad’s too.
  3. Support your pregnant partner, friend, or family member during her alcohol-free months knowing that’s best for baby. Ask her what you can do to help. We’re all in this together!
  4. If it’s hard to think of going alcohol-free, talk to your doctor, a mental health professional, or call your local FASD Network and get some support! You deserve it!

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