Guest column: How to do holiday parties while pregnant

qgpofgwp6uku9syah3m3Amy Hendricks: Retrieved from http://www.citizen-times.com/story/life/family/2017/11/19/guest-column-how-do-holiday-parties-while-pregnant/850207001/

It’s hard to believe the holiday season is upon us. We’re decorating, baking cookies, going to holiday parties, shopping in a frenzy for that perfect gift, gathering with family. Maybe squeezing in that “girls night out” where everyone has promised to not exchange gifts, but to just celebrate the season with friendship, great food and drinks. This can be the most wonderful time of the year. But when pregnant or trying to get pregnant, it can be challenging to face the decision about whether to celebrate the season with or without alcohol.

Drinking and pregnancy

Why is this decision so important?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecology, and the American Academy of Pediatricians, “there is no safe amount of alcohol, no safe type of alcohol and no safe time to drink when a woman is pregnant.” And…

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CMHA, National Addictions Awareness Week: Words Matter

graphic-for-blog-post-on-language-640x315Recovery Language: A Guide

Here are some ways to avoid using language that stigmatizes substance use and addiction:

  1. Use “people-first language.” For instance, refer to “person who uses substances”, or “person who has a substance use disorder”; and not a “drug user”, “addict” or “alcoholic”. This is more neutral language that helps to maintain the individuality of the person.
  2. Refer to “substance use” rather than “substance abuse”. “Abuse” or “abuse” has been shown to contribute to negative outcomes, and may be more likely to occur.
  3. Choose to recognize that substance use disorders are health disorders. They are not the result of any kind of character flaw or lack of personal willpower. In fact, substance use disorders are the most common mental health disorder.
  4. Choose to refer to “drug poisoning” rather than to “drug overdose” as the latter perpetuates the myth that a person has “brought this on themselves”.
  5. Referring to a “drug…

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Teen Risk-Taking: Tips for Parents

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We all face risks every day.

Teens are faced with making decisions about many new kinds of risk. Choices about drugs, alcohol, driving, relationships, and sex can be life changing.

  • Alberta teens are 3 times more likely to die from injury than all other causes combined.
  • Over 50% of reported sexually transmitted infections (STIs) in Alberta are in people between the ages of 15 and 24.
  • Part of growing up is learning how to manage risk and make smart choices. Help your teen learn and practice smart risk.
  • Risk-taking is important for a teen’s development. Let teens try new things, but make sure they understand how to stay safe.
  • Taking on new responsibilities like driving or a part time job will help a teen mature. You can lower some risks by making sure that your teen gets safety training when learning new skills.
  • Talk to your teen about how drug…

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The Christmas Season Is Coming: Plan Your Mocktails Now!


Do you want to cut down on how much alcohol you’re drinking in the run up to Christmas or find creative non-alcoholic drinks for women planning pregnancies, or women who are pregnant?  You’re not alone, but with so many Christmas cocktails and drinks on the shelves it can seem hard to find another option.

Making your own Christmas mocktails is a great alternative to alcohol that will keep you feeling festive and healthier in the run up to the big day. So we thought we’d share some of our favourites for you to enjoy.

Whether you’re organising a reduced alcohol dinner party or simply trying to cut down over the festive season, you’ll find tasty, refreshing and comforting options here.

Orange & Cranberry Spritz

Orange and cranberry are flavours made for the festive season and you’ll be glad to hear that mocktail-making doesn’t get much easier than this. Simply pour…

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