Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) Awareness: Every moment matters

September is International Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder Awareness Month, with September 9th being International FASD Awareness Day. Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder is a term used to describe the profound impacts on the brain and body of babies exposed to alcohol before they are born.

It’s also the leading preventable developmental disability in Australia.

This lifelong condition can lead to various challenges in daily living, including impaired motor skills, physical health, learning, memory, attention, communication, emotional regulation, and social skills. However, it’s crucial to remember that every individual with FASD is unique, with their own set of strengths and challenges.

Protecting your precious bump from FASD: Every moment matters

In Australia, the Foundation for Alcohol Research and Education (FARE) has launched the Every Moment Matters campaign, which is designed to raise awareness about the risks of alcohol consumption during pregnancy, when planning a pregnancy, or while breastfeeding.

The key message here is simple but incredibly powerful: every moment matters in your pregnancy, and it starts with the moment you decide to try for a baby. This campaign underscores the importance of ceasing alcohol consumption during this crucial time.

Supporting Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) Awareness

We also want to shine a light on the National Organisation for FASD Australia (NOFASD Australia), which is dedicated to promoting FASD awareness throughout September. Whether you’re a health professional, researcher, policymaker, or someone who cares deeply about this cause, you can find invaluable FASD information and resources at the FASD Hub.

We urge you to get involved in spreading awareness in any way you can:

  • You can post on social media, share information within your community, or participate in various ways. You can check out this information pack for ideas.
  • You can also make a bold statement by joining the Red Shoes Rock campaign. RJ Formanek, an adult with FASD, initiated this inspiring global movement in 2013 by wearing red shoes to stand out and spark FASD conversations with strangers. So, wear red shoes or socks all month to get everyone talking about it!
  • Give your own presentation using the FASD 101 PowerPoint slides

Help is always available

If you find it challenging to abstain from alcohol during your pregnancy, please know that help is always available. Your doctor, midwife, or obstetrician can provide guidance and non-judgemental support tailored to your unique needs. You can also visit the Every Moment Matters support page, where you’ll find a list of organisations ready to assist you on this journey.

Additionally, if you have concerns that your child may have been exposed to alcohol before birth, don’t hesitate to seek advice from your healthcare provider or reach out to NOFASD Australia for further information and support.

Your pregnancy is a precious, fleeting moment in time. Cherish it, nurture it, and protect it. By choosing to abstain from alcohol during this crucial period, you’re giving your baby the best possible start in life. Remember, every moment matters, especially when it comes to the health and wellbeing of your little one.

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