The Baker Lake Prenatal Nutrition Project hosted a mocktail tasting table at the local Northern store to mark International Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD) Awareness Day in Baker Lake on Sept. 9.
The event was organized by the Baker Lake Prenatal Nutrition Project under the direction of co-ordinator Laurel Kreuger, with funding provided by the Government of Nunavut’s Department of Health (Community Wellness) and administered by the hamlet of Baker Lake.
Annie Anautalik and Kim Chipman served the tasty mocktails (non-alcoholic drinks) at the information table.
The mocktail-tasting table provided an opportunity for members of the Prenatal Nutrition Project to distribute information to expectant moms, and the general public, on the importance of pregnant women not drinking alcohol in order to prevent FASD.
FASD is caused when a mother consumes alcohol during pregnancy. Its symptoms include physical birth defects, developmental delays, learning disabilities and memory problems,
To prevent it, women should not drink alcohol during pregnancy, said Kreuger.
“It’s important to raise awareness of the issue and make sure everyone’s aware of it, especially pregnant women and people who are close to them, like their partners and family members, who can support them in their efforts to not drink alcohol during their pregnancy,” said Kreuger.
“There’s always interest in our projects and lots of people come by to enjoy the non-alcoholic mocktails we serve.
“We also hold a full event in February called a mocktail party with the same purpose.”
Kreuger said it’s hard to know just how many in any given community know, or don’t know, that FASD can be prevented.
She said awareness is pretty good in the community, but it’s such an important message that the Baker Lake Prenatal Nutrition Project wants to always keep repeating it.
“With Sept. 9 being International FASD Awareness Day, we always do a bit more to get the message out around that date,” she said. “We had some posters up around the community that gave people brief information about FASD and how to prevent it.
“We also put together some small packages of non-alcoholic and nutritious drinks with information about FASD and preventing it, which we provided directly to pregnant women who we were coming in contact with leading up to Sept. 9 and for a little while past that date.
“So we were reaching directly to pregnant women one-on-one around that date, but also a bit wider to include their supporters and the community in general.”