At NOFASD, across Australia, and around the world people are taking a minute to pause and reflect on the struggles which individuals and families face when they are living with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD). At 9:09 on the 9th day of the 9th month we come together to raise awareness about the risks of alcohol and the importance of alcohol-free pregnancies.
The Australian Medical Association (AMA) reports that 50% of Australian women experience an unplanned pregnancy. The first few weeks of these unknown pregnancies are a major risk for prenatal alcohol exposure. Approximately 59% of Australian women drink alcohol at some time during their pregnancy, and estimates indicate that 1 in every 13 women who consume alcohol will have a child with FASD. These numbers are staggering. The AMA states that “few accurate data on the prevalence of FASD in Australia is available but it is estimated that FASD affects roughly between 2% and 5% of the population in the United States”.
FASD is the most common preventable disability, and preventing FASD is a whole-of-community responsibility. Mothers never intentionally put their children at risk. Increasing awareness about the risks of drinking when you could be pregnant, and supporting women who are pregnant to abstain throughout their nine months, is essential for preventing alcohol-exposed pregnancies.
If you are pregnant, don’t drink alcohol. If you drink alcohol, don’t get pregnant.
Friends and partners can play a major role in supporting mothers to be alcohol free. For example it is much easier for a woman to say no to alcohol if her partner stops drinking too. We can support expectant mothers by organising fun alcohol-free activities, serving non-alcoholic drinks, and reducing or ceasing our own drinking.
If you, or anyone you know, is pregnant, planning or could be, NO ALCOHOL is the safest option.
Much has already happened this FASD Month:
Congratulations KJ, winner of our Red Shoes Rock photo competition!
Lola rocking her red shoes to start conversations about FASD
Thank you Megan, a Red Shoes Rock champion, for your incredible efforts!
Some of the red shoes knitted by Megan to increase awareness of FASD and raise $600 for NOFASD Australia. Thank you!
A fantastic display created by Cheryl at her local Medical Centre!
Mother of a teenager with FASD, and NOFASD Board Chair, Cheryl Dedman with her FASD information display.
The Red Shoes Rock movement is gaining momentum!
Begun by RJ Formanek in 2013, Red Shoes Rock is an effective way to stand out and start conversations about FASD.