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NO ALCOHOL DURING PREGNANCY is a message for all times ...

In these times of isolation, increased stress from loss of jobs, working from home, missing family and friends and an unknown future ... it can be difficult to abstain from alcohol when partners or other family members are drinking and sharing the experience on new online platforms. At this time it is even more important that we support women who are planning a pregnancy, who are pregnant or breastfeeding to not drink alcohol.


Why is alcohol as risk?

Alcohol crosses the placenta and can interrupt or change the normal development of a fetus, including the brain and other organs at any stage during pregnancy. The baby is exposed to the same level of alcohol as the mother. 

No amount of alcohol at any time during pregnancy is guaranteed to be completely 'safe' or 'risk free' for the developing baby. 

Alcohol exposure during pregnancy is associated with a range of impairments which can be physical, cognitive and behavioural.

What is FASD?

Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) occurs in all parts of Australian society where alcohol is consumed. It is a social issue not just a medical condition.

FASD is a:

  • diagnostic term for severe neurodevelopmental impairments that result from prenatal alcohol exposure
  • condition that has lifelong impacts on individuals, their families, caregivers and the wider community

It is not about attributing blame. It is everyone's responsibility to educate, support and assist - partners, family members, friends, health professionals.

Australian Guidelines to reduce health risks from drinking alcohol

The Australian guidelines to reduce health risks from drinking alcohol includes information about reducing the risk over a lifetime, risk of injury on a single occasion of drinking, children and young people and alcoho, and pregnancy and breastfeeding

Guideline 4 states:

For women who are pregnant or planning a pregnancy, not drinking is the safest option.

You can find more information on the FASD Hub

Information and resources for health professionals

Info sheet for consumers (eMental Health Practice)

DBT Skills for COVID-19 (online webinar – therapist reflecting on her own application of DBT skills during COVID)

List of available Australian online mental health programs

National eTherapy Centre at Swinburne – video consultation – a practical guide

Remote therapy tips – with links to further info and videos, e-courses

Therapy online with Children: tips to make the transition (Sarah Schubert - video)

Video conferencing in child therapy: webinar for psychologists

Working with children via telehealth - instructional video

Page last updated 3 June 2020