Alcohol and Pregnancy

Overview

Through shared information and training The DEN aims to improve the understanding of the risks associated to consuming alcohol in pregnancy and building improved capacity of service provider organisations to appropriately respond to those living with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Disorder. The DEN are leaders in this field both within Tasmania and Australia. The DEN recognises girls and women matter across their lifespan not just in pregnancy and responds with a women centered approach. The current guidelines recommend that for women who are pregnant or planning a pregnancy, not drinking is the safest option and for women who are breastfeeding, not drinking is the safest option. The consumption of any alcohol in pregnancy may compromise healthy fetal development and lead to an individual experiencing lifelong disabilities Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD). If you are already pregnant and have been drinking small amounts of alcohol there is no reason to panic – the risk to your baby is low and stopping drinking at any time increases your chances of a healthy pregnancy.  If you don’t think you can stop drinking it is important to ask for help and discuss your alcohol intake with your health professional or a trusted community worker.  It is also important to get good antenatal care, take folic acid and have a healthy diet. (1) Please refer to our factsheet for further information about alcohol and pregnancy.

Our Service

Key outcomes & Aims

The DEN delivers this a statewide program about alcohol and pregnancy with the aim to:

  • Raise awareness of the adverse fetal risks from alcohol exposure during pregnancy
  • To reduce the number of fetal alcohol exposed births

The program focuses on a number of prevention stages:

Primary prevention  – raising awareness

  • Information sessions
  • Raising public awareness through media
  • Resources like brochures, factsheets and posters

Secondary prevention – capacity building

  • Training sessions for service providers to enable them to inform their respective target groups and offer support

Early intervention

  • The DEN offers a consultancy service to family, friend and carers.

Target Group

Primary Prevention

  • All Tasmanians especially girls and women of childbearing age.

Secondary Prevention

Groups at higher risk for alcohol use in pregnancy, for example:

  • Tertiary qualified, employed women over 30 years of age
  • Girls and women who binge drink and are at risk for unplanned pregnancy

Early Intervention

The DEN offers a consultancy service to parents and carers; family and supporters; and service providers.

Key Activies

Resource Development

This includes general information by newsletter, website, telephone, face to face, expos and other events, media releases and the development of the pea Prevention Manual

Training and Education

The DEN can visit workplaces, community groups, schools etc statewide to provide introductory level information sessions.

We have also developed an introductory training program. The training is held over 3 x 1 day workshops and can be tailored to specific groups e.g. teachers; health workers or delivered to individuals from diverse agency settings.

Policy Development

The DEN is active in the policy development of FASD across Tasmania, Australia and Internationally.

  • pea Prevention Taskforce
  • Member of Australian National Indigenous Resource Development Group
  • Tasmanian Representative of National Association for Fetal Alcohol Syndrome and Related Disorders – submissions to key policy documents to raise the profile of FASD and to comment as appropriate
  • DEN initiated submissions to key policy documents
  • Secretary of the NOFASARD Executive Committee

Research

The DEN keeps up to date with all new research, as well as playing a role in the development of this. Below are number of. Visit our FASD factsheet for links to related articles; journals, conference proceedings and presented papers; international websites.

Donate

The DEN are seeking additional funds to expand this project, visit our donate page for information on how to be part of the change.

 

References

1: http://www.nofasard.org.au/overview/what-is-fetal-alcohol-spectrum-disorder-fasd.html

Cost and Contact

Cost

Free of charge

Location

Statewide

Key contact

admin@den.org.au

Tel: 6211 2350

Further Info on FASD

Also check out our factsheet- alcohol and pregnancy