Alcohol use during pregnancy is the leading cause of preventable birth defects in Australia, including Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD), with an estimated 340 to 680 WA babies born with the disability each year.1
This is why the Mental Health Commission (MHC) has partnered with Cancer Council WA for the new Alcohol.Think Again campaign ‘One Drink’. It aims to increase awareness in WA that there is no safe amount or time to drink alcohol when pregnant or planning pregnancy.
Our Alcohol Program Manager, Julia Stafford, said that the campaign aims to inform and empower the community to have alcohol-free pregnancies.
“Research that informed the campaign found a need to clear up some areas of confusion about alcohol and pregnancy.
“Drinking alcohol at any time during pregnancy, even at low levels, can harm the development of the unborn baby and can cause a range of lifelong physical, mental and behavioural impacts,” Ms Stafford said.
The campaign’s key message ‘any amount a mother drinks, the baby drinks’, highlights that the placenta does not protect a developing baby from alcohol. The campaign messages are consistent with the National Health and Medical Research Council’s Australian Guidelines to Reduce Health Risks from Drinking Alcohol, which advises that women who are pregnant or planning pregnancy should not drink alcohol.
The campaign was launched across television, radio, social media and outdoor advertisements on 12 January 2021 and will run state-wide until May 2022.