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Campaign sends strong message on drinking during pregnancy

An online campaign targeting pregnant women and their partners aims to send a strong message to pregnant women that alcohol and pregnancy don’t mix.

The series of video clips – distributed on YouTube, Facebook and Instagram – seek to provide clear advice to pregnant women and their partners, regarding alcohol consumption during pregnancy.

“There is no known safe level of alcohol consumption during pregnancy,” says Matt Claridge, spokesman for Cheers, the organisation behind the campaign.

“Drinking alcohol, even in small doses, increases the risk of miscarriage, stillbirth or of a baby being born with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder, the term used to describe the range of conditions that can occur from alcohol exposure during pregnancy, including physical, mental, behavioural or learning disabilities with possible lifelong implications.

“When we originally ran this campaign in May, we heard from parents living with children with FASD who responded positively to the proactive nature of the campaign, rather than the ‘ambulance at the bottom of the cliff’ approach. We’ve revised these clips further to ensure the message is even more clear cut – pregnancy and alcohol don’t mix.”

In New Zealand, it is estimated between 600 and 3000 babies are born with FASD every year.

While recent studies have shown most people (84% of respondents surveyed in the Health Promotion Agency’s Attitudes to Drinking in Pregnancy 2016*) know that drinking small amounts of alcohol is not OK, there is still conflicting advice given to women – and males tend to be more relaxed around their attitudes to women abstaining from alcohol during pregnancy.

“Research from government’s Social Policy and Evaluation Unit shows almost 10% of women start drinking again later in pregnancy – but the fact is that alcohol is just as damaging to your baby’s developing brain then as it is early in the pregnancy,” says Mr Claridge.

The campaign will run for six weeks online. To find out more, go to saferpregnancy.nz.
Cheers is a responsible drinking campaign run by The Tomorrow Project, an industry-funded organisation committed to helping to create a safe and responsible drinking culture in New Zealand through evidence-based, targeted interventions that address the reasons behind problem drinking.

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