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CanFASD: Sober Saturdayz

Edmonton and area Fetal Alcohol Network Society

Sober Saturdayz

CBC news recently covered the story of an Edmonton woman who is finding creative ways to promote healthy living and alcohol-free social opportunities.

Kaitie Degen is familiar with the negative effects of alcohol use, having grown up in a family impacted by substance use issues. After taking steps towards reducing drinking in her own life, she founded Sober Saturdayz, which is an organization that hosts alcohol-free parties across the city to make it easier for people to have fun “without the hangover.”

Although Sober Saturdayz is not directly tied to FASD, the initiative sends an incredibly valuable message: People can enjoy themselves and stay socially connected without feeling pressured to drink.

This message is especially important to hear in a culture where rates of binge drinking are on the rise, and more than half of pregnancies are unplanned. In the world of FASD, Sober Saturdayz represents a real-life example…

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Have you read: A Handbook For Beautiful People

The Prevention Conversation: A Shared Responsibility Project

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When twenty-two-year-old Marla finds herself unexpectedly pregnant, she wishes for a family, but faces precariousness: an uncertain future with her talented, exacting boyfriend, Liam; constant danger from her roommate, Dani, a sometime prostitute and entrenched drug addict; and the unannounced but overwhelming needs of her younger brother, Gavin, whom she has brought home for the first time from deaf school. Forcing her hand is Marla’s fetal alcohol syndrome, which sets her apart but also carries her through.

When Marla loses her job and breaks her arm in a car accident, Liam asks her to marry him. It’s what she’s been waiting for: a chance to leave Dani, but Dani doesn’t take no for an answer. Marla stays strong when her mother shows up drunk, creates her own terms when Dani publicly shames her, and then falls apart when Gavin attempts suicide. It rains, and then pours, and when the Bow…

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Who proved alcohol is a teratagen?

Red Shoes Rock

Red Shoes Rock honors the FASD pioneer – Dr. Kathleen K. Sulik – Thank you!

The FASD community is grateful that Kathleen K. Sulik, Ph.D. is a scientist who studies birth defects.

Her discipline is called teratology or developmental toxicology. Much of her research has involved studying the various types of birth defects that result from exposure of an embryo to alcohol at very specific times during development.

Suliklabfigure1Dr. Sulik designed experiments to demonstrate that alcohol can cause major birth defects and the brain damage as early as the first three weeks of fetal development.

One of the major findings from her laboratory’s studies is that alcohol can cause permanent brain damage if exposure occurs at very early stages of embryonic development — stages that occur prior to the time that most women would even realize that they are pregnant.

Dr. Sulik began her career with plans of becoming a…

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Indigenous elder mentorship program leads to healthier babies in Wetaskiwin area

The Prevention Conversation: A Shared Responsibility Project

Elder Margaret Montour was an important support for Lacey Hoffman when she was pregnant with her son Aziel. (CBC)

Lacey Hoffman was nervous about attending her prenatal appointments by herself. As a teen expecting her first baby, she worried that others were judging her.

“It wasn’t fun being the youngest one,” recalled Hoffman. “I felt like people were looking at me, thinking that was sad or something like that.”

Now 18, Hoffman said she had the support of her mother and sister but they weren’t always able to join her for appointments at the Wetaskiwin Primary Care Network.

On those days, she had support from Elder Margaret Montour. 

“It was nice to have someone to talk to, to not be alone,” Hoffman told CBC News. 

Montour has been offering support and companionship to pregnant women since 2016 as part of The Elder’s Mentoring Program…

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The Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada: Alcohol and Pregnancy Resources

The Prevention Conversation: A Shared Responsibility Project

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Growing babies are harmed when a mother smokes, drinks alcohol, or uses drugs. It is never too late to quit any substance abuse habits, and there are lots of resources out there in the community to help you stop. Talk to your health care provider. He or she can help you find the resources you and your baby need.

These tip sheets have been developed by theSOGCJust click on the image to download the PDF versions. 

FACT SHEET

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FOR HEALTH CARE PROVIDERS 

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FAQ SERVICE PROVIDERS

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POSTER

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