In May 2004, the Best Start Resource Centre launched Ontario's first province-wide campaign about alcohol and pregnancy. Alcohol use during pregnancy is a leading cause of birth defects and brain damage in children. The consequences last a lifetime. To find out more about this serious issue, see Alcohol and Pregnancy.

The main population of interest for this campaign was women of childbearing age. This campaign took a population health approach to addressing alcohol use during pregnancy.

Campaign strategies included province-wide approaches to media, health care providers and licensed establishments, as well as supports for local activities. The Best Start resource Centre has other provincial strategies in place that address alcohol use in populations that are at risk due to poverty, violence, addictions etc.

The campaign material and strategies were developed with input from:

Women of childbearing age
Experts in health communications
Experts on alcohol use in pregnancy
Health care providers and service providers from across Ontario
Families affected by Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD)

The Government of Ontario approved the campaign's material prior to use. For more information about the campaign planning process, see Best Start Campaign Case Study (PDF 671 Kb).

The key campaign messages were:

There are serious, long-term consequences to alcohol use during pregnancy.
There is no safe time to drink alcohol during pregnancy.
There is no safe amount of alcohol during pregnancy.
It is best to stop drinking before pregnancy.
Help is available if you need it.

Planning your own campaign?

The Best Start Resource Centre has print and online resources that can help you plan and implement an effective alcohol and pregnancy awareness campaign. For ideas and information, see Campaign Planning Tips. If you are interested in ordering, printing or adapting the campaign resources see Using Campaign Resources.

For more information please contact the Best Start Resource Centre.








As of Feb 1 2005, Sandy's Law requires licensed establisements to display - Warning Signs about Alcohol & Pregnancy
Evaluation Results of the May 2004 Campaign
Survey shows high levels of awareness about the risks of alcohol use in pregnancy
See the Planning Tips section for key resources



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