Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder Awareness Toolkit

This FASD Awareness Toolkit contains information and tools to help raise awareness of fetal alcohol spectrum disorder

Examples of previous media releases


Our Midwifery Team Take National Campaign Lead

Our Midwifery Team Take National Campaign Lead

NHS Dumfries and Galloway's midwifery team are pictured left to right: Jacqui Gatford, Midwife; Diane Dickie, Team Leader; Anne Anderson Midwife and Natalie Potts, Specialist Midwife

WHO'S out drinking with you tonight? That is the question being asked to pregnant mothers across Dumfries and Galloway

As part of a region-wide campaign, a reminder is being highlighted to avoid alcohol if you are pregnant or contemplating pregnancy. NHS Dumfries and Galloway is the first Board in Scotland to lead on this campaign. Natalie Potts, Specialist Midwife, said: "The current situation is that nationally we are unaware of how many children are affected by maternal alcohol consumption in pregnancy as there is limited research in Scotland regarding this. "There has been no research that has determined any safe level of alcohol consumption in pregnancy.

"It is known that no alcohol during pregnancy from conception to delivery guarantees no fetal alcohol harm, and so locally our message is that Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder is 100 per cent preventable."

Chief Medical Officer for Scotland Support

Over the coming weeks and months, the region's midwifery team will raise awareness of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder.

The Board has been granted permission from Sir Harry Burns, the Chief Medical Officer for Scotland, to use his quote "Avoid alcohol if pregnant or contemplating pregnancy" as part of our local campaign to raise awareness of the risks of drinking alcohol during pregnancy. The poster 'Who's out drinking with you tonight' will be placed across 481 on sale premises across Dumfries and Galloway.

Natalie said: "We very much hope to get these messages out there in the public domain and ensure that women are aware of the potential damage alcohol can cause during pregnancy."

Further information and advice is available via GPs or the midwifery team.

NHS Dumfries and Galloway's midwifery team are pictured left to right: Jacqui Gatford, Midwife; Diane Dickie, Team Leader; Anne Anderson Midwife and Natalie Potts, Specialist Midwife

Examples of previous media releases



Health experts in Forth Valley will be going behind bars at Cornton Vale, to advise women offenders that alcohol and pregnancy do not mix. They will demonstrate how alcohol can affect a fetus by showing the women a glass containing a broken egg and a unit of clear alcohol. Ten minutes after the two ingredients were mixed there was evidence that parts of the egg had 'cooked'. A similar process operates in human pregnancy which could interfere with the normal development of the baby.

In addition some of the women will be invited to participate in a choreographed t'ai chi session where instructors, with balloons under their clothes to simulate pregnancy will stand still as statues in a pregnant pause, to reinforce their support for the message the pregnant women should take a 9 month pause from alcohol.

The messages are being delivered by the Forth Valley Alcohol and Drug Partnership and are part of an international effort to raise awareness of fetal alcohol spectrum disorder.

Dr Craig Sayers, clinical lead prison and forensic services at Cornton Vale said: "Everyone can play a constructive role in raising awareness and preventing foetal alcohol harm, and families can be particularly supportive. It is vital we reach prospective mothers and their partners earlier with factual information and practical guidance."

In Scotland more than 10,000 children are estimated to be affected by FASD.

Gillian Morton, NHS Forth Valley general manager for women and children's services added: "It is known that those who have an alcohol dependency or binge drinking pattern are more likely to have a child who is physically or mentally affected. It is not however known what specific amount of alcohol is entirely safe in pregnancy. All mothers want the very best for their babies, we would therefore advise that alcohol should be avoided when trying to conceive and for the duration of the pregnancy, therefore reducing risk to the unborn baby."

Children affected by FASD often show a variety of learning difficulties and behavioural problems and may be regarded as being wilful or undisciplined when in fact they have little control over their behaviour. They are not being naughty; the damage to their brain and nervous system caused by alcohol means they truly cannot help it. As with all children, building on their strengths rather than their difficulties is the best approach.

In addition to visiting the jail, the partnership will also be visiting community settings. Similar t'ai chi events will be held at Forth Valley Royal Hospital, Hawkhill Community Centre and Raploch Community Campus.


Email: Gillian Heavie

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