A woman's alcohol use during pregnancy is one of the top preventable causes of birth defects and developmental disabilities that are known as fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD). The social and economic burden of FASD is substantial. Lifetime direct tangible costs per individual related to health care, education and social services in Canada have been estimated to be $1.4 million.
Screening women of child-bearing age and pregnant women and recording their alcohol consumption is a practical process to identify and evaluate women at-risk and to identify potentially exposed infants.
The FASD Advisory Workgroup proposes eleven recommendations to improve the screening and recording processes for alcohol use in women of child-bearing age and pregnant women.