LLRIB Maternal Health hosts FASD awareness walk

Valerie G. Barnes Connell Jordan/Northern Advocate. Participants preparing for the annual FASD awareness walk.

After taking over the Maternal Health portfolio at Lac La Ronge Indian Band Health Services in 2020, Yvonne Carriere started to plan activities.

The list included hosting an FASD (Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder) Awareness walk in conjunction with International FASD Day, held annually on the ninth day of the ninth month, Sept. 9.

FASDs are a group of conditions that can occur in a person who is exposed to alcohol before birth. These effects can include physical problems and problems with behaviour and learning. Often, a person with FASC has a mix of these problems,” quoted from Basics about FASDs and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Carriere planned the walk in conjunction with Northlands College’s cultural gathering, Welcome Back, at the kiskinwuhumatowin Urban Reserve Thurs. Sept. 7. The walk began at the Lac La Ronge Indian Band (LLRIB) office.

The next day they planned to serve mocktails, non-alcohol drinks so, “our young mothers, our pre-natal, can enjoy a cocktail without alcohol so, they don’t have any defects with the newborn they’re carrying,” she explained.

In her work, Carriere said, they have different resources available. She co-ordinates Maternal Child Health, with the LLLRIB Health services, which includes a “lot of education.”

The education includes much on  the importance of nutrition during pregnancy and beyond, and breastfeeding, “how it’s healthy.”

They do screening for FASD, “so we can get them the help they need. The counselling and stuff like that.”

The do screening as well with the Canadian Nutritional Natal Program, that they run on reserve.

And, they are a visitation program and working to education regarding parenting. “we follow a curriculum, Growing Great Kids … the girls are being trained in that … it’s very good. We really like the curriculum.”

They plan to host more events in the future, she said.