9 September 2019
New research commissioned by DrinkWise has revealed that 28 per cent of Australians are unaware or are not sure of the risks of drinking alcohol when planning a pregnancy, pregnant or breastfeeding.
Dr Andrew Rochford, a medical doctor and DrinkWise Ambassador, said while nine out of 10 women intend to stop drink completely if they think there is a chance they could be pregnant, these new findings highlight the importance of continuing to educate the community about the risks of consuming alcohol while pregnant.
“I strongly recommend that it’s safest to not to drink alcohol while planning a pregnancy, during a pregnancy or while breastfeeding,” Dr Rochford said.
“Alcohol exposure during pregnancy can lead to babies being at risk of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD).”
The latest reminder coincides with International FASD Awareness Day, a global initiative held annually on September 9, acknowledging that during the nine months of pregnancy women should abstain from alcohol.
“FASD is a condition that can manifest in a number of ways, sometimes presenting with distinct facial features, but more commonly as neurodevelopmental impairments that can affect things like memory, learning and behaviour,” Dr Rochford explained.
Pregnant mother of one, Asha Fonteyne, said she immediately stopped drinking alcohol when she fell pregnant.
“It’s definitely not worth the risk to drink during pregnancy, you never know what complications you could cause and it’s your chance to give your child the best opportunity in life,” said Ms Fonteyne, who is in the last trimester of her second pregnancy.
DrinkWise CEO Simon Strahan said the responsibility of abstaining from alcohol during pregnancy doesn’t just lie with the expectant mother.
“We encourage partners, family and friends to be informed of the risks and support their loved ones to enjoy an alcohol-free pregnancy,” Mr Strahan said.
Further information regarding the DrinkWise FASD Awareness Program can be found here.090919 - DrinkWise media release - International FASD Awareness Day