Every year on September 9th, International Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) Awareness Day is observed. People all around the world raise awareness about the dangers of drinking during pregnancy and the plight of individuals and families who struggle with fetal alcohol spectrum disorders which can turn into a lifelong disability. The first FASDay was celebrated on 9/9/99. This day was chosen so that on the ninth day of the ninth month of the year, the world will remember the importance of healthy habits before and during the nine months of pregnancy. It is not only the woman’s but also her partner’s and family’s responsibilities.
The NDPHS Declaration on Alcohol Policy stresses that one of the significant barriers to effective FASD prevention is the lack of information about the health risks associated with alcohol consumption during pregnancy and the opinion that the fetal disorder is affected only by a woman’s choices. Men, partners, family, social network and established social norms should not be underestimated in the prevention of FASD. Many aspects play a role in women’s alcohol behaviour during pregnancy.
Our Expert Group on Alcohol and Substance Use would like to encourage government officials and policymakers to systematically develop the identification and screening of FAS and FASD, data gathering, and further scientific work. An essential part of this process is increasing awareness about the disorder among health and social service professionals.
The NDPHS experts on alcohol and substance use highlight that no level of alcohol consumption is safe for health. Refraining from alcohol during pregnancy is the only reliable way to prevent harm.