6 September 2019
On the eve of the 20th anniversary of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) Awareness Day, Alcohol Healthwatch says
women of child-bearing age in New Zealand need a more supportive environment to enable alcohol-free pregnancies.
Health Promotion Advisor for FASD Christine Rogan says many pregnancies are unplanned in New Zealand and the risk of
alcohol exposure during pregnancy is high.
“We want everyone to understand the link between drinking during pregnancy and the difficulties this can lead to as
children grow up. Studies clearly show there is no amount of alcohol that is safe for a developing baby.”
Monday 9 September is World FASD Awareness Day. The aim of this day is to have FASD, caused by drinking alcohol during
pregnancy more widely recognised, prevented and supported.
There are a number of awareness events happening around New Zealand on Monday and throughout the month of September.
“Everyone participating in FASD Awareness Day is invited to share in a ‘Moment of Reflection’ at 9:09 am – the ninth minute, of the ninth hour, of the ninth day, of the ninth month ¬– to symbolise the nine months of pregnancy in which to have a healthy baby - and to reflect on those already living
with FASD,” Ms Rogan says.
“We know that to make a difference we need a multi-faceted approach that supports women of child-bearing age to
recognise their drinking habits and have an environment that supports them, in a non-judgemental way, to provide the
best environment they can for their unborn children.
“We are encouraged that FASD is becoming increasingly recognised and we are hopeful that, with our young people are
drinking less, there will be less risk to our children in the future.”