EDMONTON — When it comes to New Year’s Eve, who doesn’t like a glass of bubbly? While it’s a refreshing way to ring in the new year, an Edmonton social agency has a warning for pregnant women.
Catholic Social Services is asking those hosting New Year’s Eve parties to be mindful of moms-to-be by providing non-alcoholic options for them to drink.
“All alcohol, at any time in a pregnancy, poses risks,” said Lisa Rogozinsky, the Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder program supervisor with CSS. “Everybody within our communities can take some responsibility in the prevention of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder.”
According to the National Organization on FASD, about 50 per cent of pregnancies are unplanned. Rogozinsky says often times women who don’t know they are pregnant will continue social drinking.
Alcohol, unlike some drugs, easily crosses through the placenta and into a baby’s blood. FASD can cause permanent disabilities.
“What we see from children, youth and adults who have FASD, they have difficulty with their attention, their language, decision-making, judgement, their reasoning,” Rogozinsky said. “These areas of difficulty then impact every area of their life.”
Simon Yau’s adopted son, Desmond, was diagnosed with FASD a year ago. He has developmental delays, and trouble controlling his emotions and impulses.
“Physically, he’s not like other six-year-olds. He’s much more like a much younger child, like a three-year-old perhaps,” Yau said. “He can’t do a lot of the things that other kids his age can do.
“He wouldn’t think twice about just running across the street if you open the front door.”
Rogozinsky says FASD isn’t just a women’s issue and that everyone can play a role in prevention. She suggests talking to pregnant women about the risks of alcohol and planning social events that don’t involve alcohol.
The following mocktail recipes were provided by Catholic Social Services.
With files from Su-Ling Goh, Global News.
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