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Around the world, the month of September has been identified as FASD month – the ninth month of the year to raise awareness about FASD and the importance of alcohol free pregnancy. Typically, events are centred around the 9th day of the 9th month. There is no known safe amount of alcohol which can be consumed during pregnancy and the National Health and Medical Research Council, Australia (NHMRC) and the Australian Government Department of Health and other affiliated medical bodies all advise that no alcohol is the safest choice.
FASD Awareness Day began in 1999, initiated by Bonnie Buxton, Brain Philcox and Teresa Kellerman. The first FASD Awareness Day attracted interest worldwide including; New Zealand, followed by South Australia, South Africa, Italy, Germany, Sweden, United States of America and Canada.
Community events to mark FASD Awareness Day now take place around the world providing opportunities for communities to raise awareness about FASD, to pause, to reflect and consider the benefits of an alcohol free pregnancy and to share this prevention message across the world.
Each year increasing numbers of agencies around Australia acknowledge FASD Day to highlight concerns about alcohol exposed pregnancies, to raise awareness of FASD and to underline that alcohol in pregnancy is a whole of community concern and not solely a women’s issue.
There are lots of ideas for community events to mark FASD Awareness Day. These include:
FASD awareness campaign
Pregnant Pause event
Ring some bells
Proclamation signed by an official person
Show a video or make a presentation
Start a FASD support group
In Melbourne The Fly Factory & Fly For Health are holding: