Fetal alcohol spectrum disorder: Prevention

Fetal alcohol spectrum disorder: Prevention

Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) is the term used to describe a range of preventable birth defects and disorders caused when a developing baby is exposed to alcohol before they are born. There is no known safe amount or time to drink alcohol during pregnancy.

Babies + Booze: Personal Stories (2)

Babies + booze: Personal stories

Key points to remember 

  • there is no safe time to drink alcohol in pregnancy
  • there is no safe amount to drink in pregnancy
  • if you're pregnant or planning to be pregnant and finding it difficult to stop drinking, talk to your family doctor, lead maternity carer, or call the Alcohol Drug Helpline 0800 787 797 
  • drinking alcohol when pregnant can change a baby's physical appearance, and damage the brain. However, there can be brain damage without any obvious physical changes. This brain damage shows up as learning and/or behaviour problems that can cause lifelong difficulties
  • Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) is the term used to describe the range of preventable birth defects and disorders caused when a developing baby is exposed to alcohol before they are born
  • FASD is a lifelong disability
  • based on overseas studies and our drinking patterns, New Zealand can expect up to 3,000 babies a year to be born with FASD  
  • incorrect information, fear of causing stress and social pressure to drink may be barriers to women being able to make well-informed choices around alcohol use during pregnancy 
  • if you're worried about the behaviour and learning of a child who was exposed to alcohol during pregnancy, ask your family doctor for a referral to your nearest Child Health Service

Youth social media awareness campaign videos

Babies + booze: a shout out

Babies + booze: when you drink, your baby drinks

Babies + booze: support your mates when they're not drinking

Where to go for more information and support

If you are pregnant or planning to be pregnant and having trouble stopping drinking, seek the help of your local health professional, lead maternity carer, or call the Alcohol Drug Helpline 0800 787 797.   If you are worried about the behaviour and learning of a child who was exposed to alcohol during pregnancy, ask your family doctor for a referral to your nearest Child Health Service.

The Fetal Alcohol Network New Zealand (FANNZ) www.fan.org.nz  has further information and contact details should you wish to talk to someone about any concerns.

The content on this page has been produced in collaboration with the Fetal Alcohol Network NZ.

The video clips have been produced as part of the FASD Youth Social Media Campaign. They can be viewed on www.youtube.com/user/FASDNetworkNZ or on www.fan.org.nz and are reproduced here with permission.

This page last reviewed 16 December 2014.
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