New Campaign Encourages New and Expecting Mums to Protect Their Babies by Not Drinking Alcohol

New Campaign Encourages New and Expecting Mums to Protect Their Babies by Not Drinking Alcohol

02 July 2014

Reducing the impact of alcohol-related harm on unborn and newborn babies is the focus of a newhealth campaign launched in Sydney today by the Assistant Minister for Health, Fiona Nash.Minister Nash said the Women Want to Know initiative would provide health professionals withbetter support and training on how to discuss the risks of alcohol consumption with women planninga pregnancy, and with new and expectant mothers.

As any mother will know, there is a lot of information out there about every aspect of the health oftheir child. Minster Nash said. Many women rightly choose to rely on their GP, obstetrician andother health professionals to provide this advice.

Health professionals therefore need to be able to convey the risks associated with drinking whilepregnant in a way which doesnt cause distress or embarrassment, or turns women away fromwanting to receive further prenatal care.

Women Want to Know will provide health professionals with training modules, brochures and otherresources to help raise the issue of alcohol consumption with their patients in a way thats bothinformative and non-judgemental.

The campaign promotes the National Health and Medical Research Councils updated AlcoholGuidelines which state that no alcohol is the safest option if you are pregnant, breast feeding, orplanning a pregnancy.

The campaign includes a range of resources for health professionals including training modulesdeveloped by the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners; the Australian College ofMidwives; and the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.

For women and their families, brochures will explain the health risks associated with drinking whilepregnant and breastfeeding, including the risk of children developing Fetal Alcohol SpectrumDisorders (FASD) which can cause a range of health, behavioural and developmental problems.Designed by the Foundation for Alcohol Research and Education (FARE), with funding support of$595,000 from the Australian Government, the campaign builds on Government efforts to preventFetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders.

The Government announced funding of $9.2 million to a FASD Action Plan last week. It includesfunding for services to support alcohol dependent women; targeted grants to undertake furtherresearch; and funding for the New Directions: Mother and Babies program.