Palmerston promotes abstinence

By Ian Beeck | posted on September 11, 2020

PALMERSTON is leading the way to create awareness of what has been a previously taboo topic – Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD).

Wednesday was International FASD Awareness Day, held on the ninth day of the ninth month at 9.09am to highlight the importance of nine months of pregnancy without alcohol.

Palmerston was involved by putting together a creative display in Reception with an opportunity to share thoughts and ask questions for clients, staff and visitors via an interactive post-it notes wall display.

Palmerston Prevention Co-ordinator Sachin Khairnar said FASD is a condition that causes serious physical and/or neurodevelopmental disorders, resulting from fetal exposure to alcohol.

“The effects are lifelong and include physical, mental, behavioural and learning disabilities,” he said.

“FASD is a serious public health issue and it is a disorder that is not confined to a particular community, crossing all socio-economic, racial and education boundaries.

“There is no cure for FASD but it is easily prevented by abstaining from alcohol during pregnancy and while breast- feeding.”

The Red Shoes Rock campaign started in 2013, when RJ Formanek, an adult living with FASD, wore red shoes to stand out and be noticed.

His aim was to make FASD visible and to start conversations about prevention.

Statistics show that up to 60 per cent of Australian women drink while pregnant.

The National Health and Medical Research Council’s Australian Guidelines to Reduce Health Risks from Drinking Alcohol recommend for women who are pregnant or planning a pregnancy, not drinking is the safest option.

And for women who are breastfeeding, not drinking is the safest option.