The West

Alcohol-free best for baby
Professor Fiona Stanley talks pregnancy with Rebecca Hood of Duncraig. Picture: Simon Santi/The West Australian

Pregnant women will be encouraged to abstain from alcohol in a campaign to warn that no amount of alcohol is safe for a foetus.

The campaign's launch yesterday came as research revealed one in three WA women was unaware about the potential dangers of drinking while pregnant.

Mental Health Minister Helen Morton said the State Government would spend $350,000 on the six-week online and television campaign aimed at pregnant women and those trying to have a baby with the message that no alcohol in pregnancy was the safest option.

Child health expert Professor Fiona Stanley said the number of alcohol-related problems in babies appeared to be rising and the message about drinking while pregnant was still not getting through, especially to those most at risk.

She welcomed the campaign as a way to address the "most important preventable cause" of developmental problems in children.

"We have the classic foetal alcohol syndrome, which is a major abnormality birth defect, but there is a range of other, lesser abnormalities caused by drinking alcohol in pregnancy," she said.

Rebecca Hood, who works for the Drug and Alcohol Office, is five months pregnant and believes it is important for expectant mothers to have a clear message on alcohol.

"It's good that women know not drinking alcohol while pregnant is the best way to give their child the healthiest start in life," she said.

The West Australian

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