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Online Guide to Decisions about Drinking During Pregnancy

8 September 2011

The Online Guide to Making Responsible Decisions about Drinking During Pregnancy

Launches on World FASD Awareness Day, 9 September 2011 in Auckland

While the country gears up for the launch of the Rugby World Cup, Alcohol Healthwatch is launching a new Online Guide to inform women of the risk of drinking during pregnancy.

Spokesperson Christine Rogan says many New Zealand women continue to drink during pregnancy believing some alcohol is safe. “Alcohol freely crosses the placenta throughout pregnancy and that can lead to lifelong learning and behaviour problems for the child known as Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder. No safe amount or no safe time to drink during pregnancy has been found and we are concerned that that message is not getting through to women so they can make informed decisions”, says Ms Rogan.

Research has shown that for women to make good decisions about drinking alcohol during pregnancy, they need to know the relevant facts and many women of childbearing age prefer to get information via the internet rather than traditional print sources.

The Online Guide was developed for Alcohol Healthwatch by Dr Frances Steinberg, a psychologist who has been working with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders for more than 30 years. The online format allows users to watch videos, link to current research, and access a range of global resources. The guide offers three interesting alternatives to viewing the information; users can choose whether to Get the Facts, Play a Game, or Follow a Story.

Because of the digital format used, other organisations can also arrange to brand or adapt the material and upload it to their own website for their own clients, customers, or members to view directly from them.

The launch of this resource is timed to coincide with World FASD Awareness Day which is held on the 9th day of the 9th month each year. The day is marked by a ‘Pregnant Pause’ @ 9.09am as that time makes its way through the different time zones around the world. The date and time symbolises the nine months of pregnancy. New Zealand is always the first country to mark this annual worldwide event.

The Online resource will launch during an Auckland FASDAY event in the morning of the 9th September which will be held at Barry Court, Hotel and Conference Centre, 20 Gladstone Road, Parnell between 8.30am – 12.00pm.

ENDS

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