09 September 2016

International Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder Day

The importance of not consuming alcohol during pregnancy is being highlighted today through International Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) Day. 

Federal Member for Corangamite, Sarah Henderson said FASD and its life-long debilitating impacts are entirely preventable if alcohol is not consumed during pregnancy.

“Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder is the umbrella term for the physical, cognitive, behavioural and neurodevelopmental disabilities that result from exposing the fetus to maternal alcohol,” Ms Henderson said.

“By avoiding alcohol altogether throughout pregnancy, and while breastfeeding, mothers can give their babies the best start in life.  Families and friends can also play an important role in supporting pregnant women by joining them in giving up alcohol during their pregnancy.”

“The Turnbull Government is committed to reducing the harmful effects of alcohol.”

“As part of the 2016 Budget we announced $10.5 million over four years to 2020 to continue the FASD Action Plan, which identified priority areas for action to reduce the impact of the disorder across Australia. This is in addition to $9.2 million previously allocated in 2014,” Ms Henderson said. 

“Through this investment, Australia’s first FASD Diagnostic Tool was released earlier this year, to assist paediatricians and other clinicians in diagnosing FASD.”

Other projects have included development of best practice models of care for services, promotion and dissemination of resources for health professionals and consumers through the Women Want To Know project and support for National Organisation for Fetal and Spectrum Disorders (NOFASD).

“The new funding will build on the important work we have commenced.” 

“Despite this commitment, it is important to stress that prevention remains the best option” 

For more information on the National FASD Action plan and other initiatives to minimise the harmful effects of alcohol please visit the Department of Health website or for help, advice and support about Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder please visit the NOFASD website.

9 September 2016