Celebrating 9 months of impact on 9 September: International FASD Awareness Day
To mark International FASD Awareness Day, the Foundation for Alcohol Research and Education (FARE) has released data that demonstrates the impact of the Every Moment Matters campaign – Australia’s first, nation-wide public awareness campaign supporting alcohol-free pregnancies and safe breastfeeding practices.
Developed by FARE and endorsed and funded by the Australian Government, Every Moment Matters aims to increase Australians’ awareness of the risks of alcohol use during pregnancy, and increase the number of Australian women who intend not to drink alcohol during pregnancy.
With the tagline ‘The moment you start trying is the moment to stop drinking’, the campaign features nationally on television, radio, digital and out-of-home channels and runs until July 2024.
The results of the ongoing evaluation led by the University of Adelaide demonstrates that Every Moment Matters is overcoming the mixed messages people often receive about alcohol and pregnancy.
Key findings from a survey of 800 Australians found, that in response to viewing the ad:
- 88 per cent agreed that the ad was easy to understand
- 82 per cent agreed that the ad made a strong argument not to drink during pregnancy
- 70 per cent of partners of pregnant women agreed that the ad made them feel motivated to stop drinking alcohol during their partner’s pregnancy
- 62 per cent had taken an action after seeing the ad (the most common being discussing it with a partner or friend or relative), and
- 15 per cent of people who had seen the ad had avoided drinking around someone who was pregnant.
FARE CEO Caterina Giorgi said “International FASD Awareness Day is an opportunity to raise awareness of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD), a lifelong, preventable disability.
“We can all play a role in supporting alcohol free pregnancies. Every Moment Matters provides Australians with health information about how alcohol use during pregnancy can lead to FASD, as well as increasing the risk of miscarriage, stillbirth, premature birth, and low birth weight.”
The campaign advertisement has been viewed more than 17 million times (from 10 January to 26 June 2022) on digital channels, directing people to the website where they can view resources and information about alcohol, pregnancy and breastfeeding, including evidence-based harm minimisation strategies for women who breastfeed that drink alcohol.
Federal Minister for Health and Aged Care, Mark Butler said “The Australian Government is committed to reducing the prevalence and impact of FASD on individuals, families, carers and communities.
“We can prevent this and change lives by raising awareness of the effects of drinking alcohol during pregnancy and while breastfeeding, which is why this campaign is so important.”
The campaign is based on the National Health and Medical Research Council’s Australian Guidelines to reduce health risks from drinking (the Guidelines), which say that women who are pregnant should not drink alcohol, and for women who are breastfeeding, not drinking alcohol is safest for their baby.
As part of the campaign, the National Organisation for Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (NOFASD Australia) launched resources for Alcohol and Drug Workers, and will soon launch resources for people involved in Out-of-Home Care.
NOFASD COO Sophie Harrington said, “NOFASD is committed to preventing alcohol exposed pregnancies, and improving the quality of life of people living with FASD. That’s why we’re excited to launch resources that inform and support frontline services that work with people who have FASD, their parents and carers, as well as women who may be alcohol dependent.”
As part of the broader program of work, the National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (NACCHO) has designed a culturally appropriate awareness raising campaign with regional and remote Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.
NACCHO CEO Pat Turner said, “FASD is a whole of community issue. We look forward to launching the Strong Born campaign with ACCHOs across rural and remote Australia next month. The campaign will support mums, their families, their communities, their health practitioners and health services, to bring everyone together to help prevent and better understand the issues that contribute to FASD.”
To access the new resource and to find out more about the campaign, visit everymomentmatters.org.au