New Alcohol and Pregnancy Campaign
The Mental Health Commission has launched a new Alcohol and Pregnancy campaign as part of a broader Preventing Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) Project.
The FASD Project is part of the Government's Commitment to Aboriginal Youth Wellbeing, released in March 2020.
The campaign's critical message of "any amount a mother drinks, the baby drinks" challenges the inaccurate belief that a mother's placenta protects a developing baby from alcohol.
Prenatal alcohol exposure can damage the fetus’ brain, resulting in a range of severe and permanent physical, behavioural, and intellectual disabilities. FASD is the leading preventable cause of non-genetic developmental disability in Australia. There is concern that as many as 2% of all Australian babies may be born with some form of FASD.
In addition to the public education campaign, the project includes training to help health workers engage in conversations and support regarding alcohol use during pregnancy and FASD prevention. A data system in development will also identify high-risk communities to enable targeted support to those communities.
In December 2020, the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) released their revised Australian Guidelines to Reduce Health Risks from Drinking Alcohol. The NHMRC now advises that pregnant women should not drink alcohol.
Research commissioned by the MHC indicates that most women have avoided alcohol during their pregnancy. However, 1 in 5 consider 'small amounts' of alcohol to be okay and 15% of women in WA reported drinking alcohol in their last pregnancy.
The campaign will air 12 January 2021. The media strategy is led by state-wide TV, cinema, radio, digital and social advertising.
For more information, visit www.alcoholthinkagain.com.au