Every year 3,000 babies in Canada are born with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD). It is estimated that more than 130,000 children and adults in Ontario are currently living with this lifelong disability.
FASD is an umbrella term used to describe the range of lifelong physical, mental, behavioural and/or learning disabilities that can occur only in individuals whose mothers drank alcohol during pregnancy.
Any kind of alcohol can be harmful during pregnancy including liquor, beer, wine and coolers.
Drinking alcohol during any time in pregnancy can cause developmental harm that has lifelong social, behavioural and mental disabilities. There is no safe level of alcohol use in pregnancy.
FASD is preventable. It is best to stop drinking before trying to get pregnant or as soon as you know you are pregnant. It is never too late to make positive changes during pregnancy. Partners can also help prevent FASD by supporting a woman’s decision not to drink while pregnant.
Toronto Public Health is a member of the Toronto FASD Coordinating Network. This information has been adapted from the Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder booklet (PDF) produced by the Network.