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No alcohol while pregnant' campaign launched

9 September 2012

A new Western Australian advertising campaign urging women not to drink alcohol while pregnant, planning a pregnancy or breastfeeding was launched today on World Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) Awareness Day.

Mental Health Minister Helen Morton said the Strong Spirit Strong Future campaign, including State-wide television and radio advertising, was aimed at dispelling any confusion within the community, even among health practitioners about drinking alcohol during pregnancy.

“The National Health and Medical Research council guidelines warn women about the risks of drinking alcohol during pregnancy, which has associated harms to the unborn child, including Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder,” Mrs Morton said.

“This campaign is aimed at sending the clear message that the safest option is not to drink alcohol when you’re pregnant, planning a pregnancy or breastfeeding.

“Research is in its early years in Australia but we do know that without the consumption of alcohol during pregnancy - FASD wouldn’t exist.”

FASD is caused by alcohol use during pregnancy and children born with FASD can experience a range of permanent problems, including developmental delays; poor growth; birth defects; abnormal brain function; behavioural problems; and social skills deficits. 

The Minister said the campaign featured flamboyant, well-known Aboriginal woman and health campaigner Mary G but stressed the message was an issue for the whole Western Australian community. 

“While this is not just a problem for Aboriginal people, it is great to see Aboriginal people leading from the front with this campaign message to give our children a strong spirit for a strong future,” she said.

The Drug and Alcohol Office has received funding over four years to develop a suite of Aboriginal FASD prevention initiatives. The project funding was made available through the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) Indigenous Early Childhood Development National Partnership Agreement.

Minister's office - 9213 7250