MEDICINE HAT, AB — Each year it's estimated that four out of every 100 babies in Canada are affected by Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder.
There is still no cure for FASD.
The ninth the day of the ninth month (September 9th) is International FASD Day to represent the nine month pregnancy without alcohol.
There is still a lot of stigma around people living with FASD.
People living with the disorder may have learning disabilities, intellectual problems, and social issues.
Wendy is a caregiver who provides some stability and support for someone living with FASD.
"People with FASD have a hard time with multi tasking, and taking several instructions at a time. So, it’s trying to establish a good schedule, it’s trying to establish a good routine, some predictability for them," said Wendy.
She says it's discouraging when people living with FASD are perceived as lazy, or manipulative because its not something that they choose.
"You would not get mad for a blind person for bumping into you or deaf person for not hearing you. How can we get mad at someone with an FASD if they have no control," said Wendy.
To help raise awareness about the disorder and encourage women to avoid alcohol during pregnancy, a special campaign is taking place this week.
Several local restaurants are participating in Mocktails for Moms where they are offering a free non-alcohol drink for expecting moms.
Rod DeVries, prevention conversation facilitator, says the Mocktails provide an option for someone to responsibly have fun.
"They can still go out with their friends and have a good time,” said DeVries. “There are alternatives to the alcohol, you don’t have to drink alcohol but on the other hand you don’t have to stop having fun."
Terra Ireton works at the Mainliner pub who are participating in the event.
"It’s just important for the mother and the baby to be healthy for one thing and like I said, for them to come out and enjoy an evening, and have those options. Instead of just drinking water or pop all the time," said Ireton.
Although the number of babies diagnosed with FASD are declining it's still prevalent in today's society.
"It’s scary to say that there’s even some doctors still today say that a glass of wine once in a while, while your pregnant is okay,” said Wendy. “That’s shocking to me. Nobody knows when it is safe. The safest amount is no amount and it’s 100% preventable. This is a man made disability that we have created ourselves and it is 100% preventable."
She hopes that the awareness and information available to women will help them make the right choice if they are or trying to get pregnant.
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