With the weather warming up and the party season upon us it’s a good time to remind people not to drink alcohol if there’s any chance of pregnancy. As an organisation that supports the key message underpinning HPA’s alcohol and pregnancy work (‘Stop drinking alcohol if you could be pregnant, are pregnant or are trying to get pregnant. There is no known safe level of alcohol consumption during pregnancy’), we’re keen to update you on recent activities, including:
· a new resource for health professionals
· the Don’t know? Don’t drink summer campaign
· upcoming consultation for the FASD Action Plan.
New resource for health professionals – attached
Primary health care teams have a significant influence on women’s decisions about alcohol use during pregnancy. Research tells us that women expect health professionals to give them advice about drinking alcohol during pregnancy but this doesn’t happen consistently. On the advice of our Sector Leaders’ Group HPA has developed a short resource to encourage health professionals to ask women about their alcohol use and advise them not to drink alcohol if they are pregnant or planning a pregnancy (resource attached).
The resource is being mailed out to nearly 6,000 primary health care providers around the country in January, including GPs, youth clinics, sexual health clinics, school health nurses and Well Child Tamariki Ora providers. The resource can also be ordered or downloaded from alcoholpregnancy.org.nz.
Don’t know? Don’t drinksummer campaign
The second wave of HPA’s alcohol and pregnancy campaign Don’t know? Don’t drink started 9 December and will run until June 2016. The online video and banners encouraging women to stop drinking alcohol if there is any chance they could be pregnant will be appearing in a range of digital environments, including Facebook feeds, TV on Demand and YouTube.
During the first wave of the campaign (June to September 2015), the online video was viewed on Facebook more than 151,000 times and generated a lot of discussion. During this second wave, the video will be run over a longer period of time, but will appear less often. This will be backed up by online banners, Facebook advertising and posts, and posters placed in bars and at festivals over summer. Subject experts and well-known New Zealanders will also support the campaign messages.
The target audience is young women aged 18-30 years who drink at medium to high levels. Research shows that this group has a busy social life and interacts with many types of media in the course of a typical day.
You can support the campaign by liking our Facebook page (click here to visit Don’t know? Don’t drink page). Printed resources for local promotion of Don’t know? Don’t drink campaign messages can be found at alcoholpregnancy.org.nz. This includes resources to support health professionals to talk with women about the risks of drinking while pregnant, posters to display in community settings frequented by young women (eg, student accommodation, hospitality venues and tertiary institutions) and evidence and research about alcohol and pregnancy.
FASD Action Plan
To help inform the FASD Action Plan, the Ministry of Health is due to release a discussion document for consultation in mid-December. This document outlines the evidence and key issues around FASD and proposes key principles, high level outcomes and action areas for a more effective response.
The Ministry wants to test these with stakeholders to help drive the direction of the Action Plan and prioritise actions. Questions will be provided to help guide submissions but free and frank feedback is encouraged. Consultation will be open until the 26th of February.
Contact Catherine McCullough for more information (Catherine_McCullough@moh.govt.nz) and keep an eye out for the release of the consultation document and submissions link.
For more information about HPA's alcohol and pregnancy work programme visit alcoholpregnancy.org.nz or contact Fiona Imlach (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Best wishes for a safe and happy festive season.
Manager, Alcohol and Pregnancy Programme
Health Promotion Agency (HPA)