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Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) - Information for Healthcare Providers

A women’s use of alcohol while pregnant, may affect her developing baby and cause a range of mental and physical difficulties.
Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) is a term used to describe the full range of harm that can result from drinking alcohol during pregnancy.

There is no safe type, no safe time or no safe amount of alcohol to drink. The effects of drinking alcohol while pregnant last a lifetime.

FASD is preventable.

The risk of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder can be decreased by 50% or more by talking about alcohol and birth control use before pregnancy. Evidence shows that asking all women of childbearing age, questions about their alcohol use is one of the most effective ways to prevent FASD.


Patient Handouts


Screening Tools

T-ACE alcohol screening tool (PDF)
Brief interventions have been shown to be very useful in helping pregnant women who drink low to moderate amounts of alcohol reduce their alcohol intake during pregnancy.

Asking about Alcohol and Birth Control Use Together (PDF)
The Prevention Action Group, of FASD ONE, developed this information sheet outlining the need to screen all women in their childbearing years, for alcohol use and the use of birth control, in preventing FASD.


Key Documents, Best Practice Guidelines and References

  • SOGC Alcohol Use and Pregnancy Consensus Clinical Guidelines
    These clinical guidelines were developed to establish national standards of care for the screening and recording of alcohol use and counselling on alcohol use of women of child-bearing age and pregnant women based on the most up-to-date evidence.
  • CanFASD
    The Canada Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder Research Network (CanFASD) is an interdisciplinary research network, with collaborators, researchers and partners across the nation. It is Canada’s first comprehensive national Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) research network.
Date of creation: November 21, 2016
Last modified on: December 14, 2016