Alcohol and Pregnancy 'One Drink'

There is no safe amount or time to drink alcohol during pregnancy.

The Alcohol.Think Again ‘One Drink’ campaign is a joint initiative between the Mental Health Commission (MHC) and Cancer Council Western Australia, and forms one part of a broader Preventing Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) Project led by the MHC.

Alcohol use in pregnancy can cause miscarriage, stillbirth and permanent damage to the brain of the developing baby, resulting in a range of severe and lifelong physical, mental and behavioural disabilities known as FASD.

FASD are the leading preventable cause of non-genetic, developmental disability in Australia, and there is concern that as many as 2% of all Australian babies may be born with some form of FASD.

Over half (58%) of Western Australian’s report being aware of FASD, but one in four (25%) associate FASD with the consumption of large amounts of alcohol during pregnancy. Less than one in four (38%) believe low levels of alcohol use can result in a baby being born with FASD.

The ‘One Drink’ campaign aims to increase the proportion of the Western Australian community who are aware that there is no safe amount or time to drink alcohol when pregnant.

The campaign’s key message ‘any amount a mother drinks, the baby drinks’, challenges the commonly held, but inaccurate belief, that a mother’s placenta protects a developing baby from alcohol. The call-to-action is consistent with the National Health and Medical Research Council’s revised Australian Guidelines to Reduce Health Risks from Drinking Alcohol (2020), that women who are pregnant or planning pregnancy should not drink alcohol.

The campaign was developed following a robust research and consultation process and was guided by an Expert Reference Group.

The campaign launched on 12 January 2021 and will run with four key bursts of activity until May 2022. The media strategy is led by state-wide TV, and supported by cinema, radio, out-of-home advertising, digital and social advertising and paid search.

Key messages

  • The placenta does not protect a baby from alcohol.
  • Any amount of alcohol a mother drinks, the baby drinks.
  • There is no safe amount or time to drink alcohol during pregnancy.
  • Women who are pregnant or planning pregnancy should not drink alcohol.

Primary target audience

The group of women and men within Western Australia (18 to 44 years) who consider a 'small amount' of alcohol at any stage in pregnancy to be okay.

Secondary target audience

The Western Australian adult population (18 to 44 years).

Campaign objectives 

  • Decrease the proportion who consider a 'small amount' of alcohol to be okay at any stage of pregnancy.
  • Increase the proportion who believe alcohol use when pregnant can result in a range of lifelong harms to the baby.
  • Increase the proportion who are aware it is recommended women who are pregnant or planning pregnancy should not drink alcohol.

Resources

Campaign Video
One Drink - 30 second TVC

Campaign Video
One Drink - 15 second TVC

Campaign Audio
One Drink - 30 second radio

Campaign Audio
One Drink - 30 second Aboriginal radio (metro)

Campaign Audio
Aboriginal Radio_OneDrink

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