A recent campaign between LCBO and Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD) has been criticized over posters displayed in liquor stores. The Baby Bump campaign that ran through Aug. 25 until Sep. 12 was designed to bring awareness about the effects of drinking while pregnant.
“We wanted to present FASD, we wanted women to understand that they should not be drinking in pregnancy because that would damage their baby,” Bonnie Buxton, founder of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome world and Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Awareness Day said.
According to FASD, “no amount of alcohol and no time in pregnancy have been established as safe for the fetus.”
Laura Jamer, a mother of two, made headlines when she spoke up about the campaign and the issues the ad implies. Jamer said the campaign urges the public to shame expectant mothers who are having a glass of wine, or who are shopping in liquor stores.
Buxton disagrees with the consumption of any amount of alcohol while pregnant. “Who would trade a glass of wine for a baby’s brain?,” Buxton said. “She is a nut bar.”
FASDs are the most common, most expensive, yet most preventable of all mental disorders in the industrialized world. Health officials say it is safest to stay clear of alcohol while pregnant, or trying to get pregnant.
Karen Chan, mother of a healthy 17-month-old baby boy says she consumed champagne and red wine while pregnant. “I did a lot of research when I was pregnant about everything,” Chan said.
Spending most of her time abroad in Spain and Paris while pregnant, Chan says it’s not something that is so strict and rigid as here. “I think the bigger issue is that pregnant women don’t have autonomy over their body,” Chan said. “We constantly have people telling us what we need to do, how we need to do it, and when.”
According to Statistics Canada, heavy drinking has increased to 775,663 in 2009 from 649,055 in 2012 for females aged 20 to 34.