Ongoing Pregnant Pause campaign launched by FARE Australia aims to inform women about dangers of alcohol consumption during pregnancy, stating that no level of consumption is safe.
Recent polling undertaken by FARE in March 2020 reveals that almost a quarter (23 percent) of respondents did not know that using alcohol when pregnant is harmful. 30 percent of respondents did not know that alcohol causes irreversible brain damage, a condition called Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder.
Senior Communications Officer at FARE, Kamara Buchanan, said: “When we drilled down further into that data, Australians aged between 25-34 years – the age group most likely to think about having a baby – more than 1 in 3 people were unaware of the guidelines that no level of alcohol consumption is safe.”
The current guidelines set by the National Health and Medical Research Council say that women who are pregnant or planning to be pregnant should not drink alcohol, however, the awareness of these guidelines within communities is not as high as it should be.
Senior Communications Officer at FARE Kamara Buchanan states how the ACT-based Pregnant Pause campaign helps raise awareness about these current guidelines and creates an environment supporting mums to be through their pregnancy journeys.
“The reality is that a lot of socialising happens in areas where there is alcohol, so if there is a way that women can feel supported in an environment where they are empowered to go alcohol free rather than feel left out is very important.”
Community involvement has been a large factor in the success of spreading the Pregnant Pause message, as businesses in the community are able to endorse the current guidelines.
“What we’re seeing is a real take up with businesses within the community to become ‘community heroes’ to advocate the guidelines and show a network of support for women going alcohol free,” Kamara added.
These figures revealed to FARE that there was a need to raise awareness about the dangers of alcohol consumption during pregnancy despite guidelines already being in place.
FARE CEO Caterina Giorgi says that latest polling data shows that 70 percent of Australians support action to introduce a new pregnancy warning label on alcoholic beverages sending a clear health warning to expecting mothers.
Kamara added that Pregnant Pause, which started in 2014, also provides a platform where there is consistent advice being told to women via social media.
“We all have a role to play providing a consistent message about alcohol consumption and pregnancy,” Kamara said.
Pregnant Pause Twitter page can be accessed here: https://twitter.com/PregnantPauseAU
Pregnant Pause Facebook page can be accessed here: https://www.facebook.com/PregnantPauseAU/
Pregnant Pause campaign website can be accessed here: http://www.pregnantpause.com.au/
Georgia is a media & communications student at the University of Melbourne and is pursuing a career in journalism. She also has a passion for foreign languages, writing and travel. She also currently works as an associate for an investment management company where she focuses on data research with input on various marketing processes.