Alcohol and PregnancyNo alcohol in pregnancy is the safest choice
The ‘No Alcohol During Pregnancy is the Safest Choice’ campaign was a joint initiative of the Drug and Alcohol Office (now Mental Health Commission), and Injury Control Council of WA (now Injury Matters) This campaign was the first in Western Australia to target alcohol use during pregnancy in the general population.
The campaign messages were based on findings from the Healthway and National Health Medical Research Council (NHMRC) funded research conducted by Edith Cowan University with pregnant women and women of childbearing age in Perth, which identified communication messages to increase women’s intentions to abstain from alcohol during pregnancy.
The key message was based on the NHMRC guideline that for women who are pregnant, or planning a pregnancy, not drinking alcohol is the safest option.
‘No Alcohol During Pregnancy is the Safest Choice’ launched in May 2012 and was in-market until July 2013.
Women of child-bearing age.
General community aged 25 to 54 years.
No alcohol during pregnancy is the safest choice.
- If you are pregnant you should reduce your alcohol intake, with abstinence as the primary goal.
- Alcohol consumption is something that (most) pregnant women can control and that reduction or abstinence from alcohol will support the health of the pregnancy and baby.
- No alcohol during pregnancy is the safest option.
- Challenge the belief that ‘a couple of drinks every now and then’ are risk-free.
- Potential risk to the fetus increases with the amount and frequency alcohol is consumed. There is even a risk of harm to the fetus even when a woman doesn’t feel drunk.
- Alcohol consumption is related to negative short-term and long-term effects for the pregnancy and fetus.
An independent social research agency was engaged to conduct a mid-campaign evaluation following its first year in market. The evaluation was conducted in August 2012 and comprised a total of 400 respondents across WA.
A summary of the mid-campaign evaluation results are below:
- Three in five (60%) recalled the campaign when prompted.
- Almost all (98%) women surveyed who saw the ad correctly recalled the message that ‘if you’re pregnant, no alcohol is the safest choice’.
- Of those aware of the campaign, more than nine in ten (94%) women reported they would be ‘extremely unlikely’ to stop drinking alcohol completely if they became pregnant.
- Of those aware of the campaign, almost three in five (57%) said they would stop drinking completely whilst trying to become pregnant; whilst almost one in three (31%) would reduce their consumption instead.
- Approximately half (47%) of women surveyed felt more confident they could stop drinking alcohol completely if pregnant after seeing the ad.
- Of those aware of the campaign, almost one in five (18%) reported they had suggested to someone that they know who is pregnant to stop drinking alcohol.
For more findings from the mid-year evaluation, click here.
Alcohol can affect the growth of the baby in pregnancy. For women who are pregnant, breastfeeding, or planning a pregnancy, not drinking is the safest option.
Strong Spirit Strong Mind promotes the uniqueness of Aboriginal culture as a central strength in guiding efforts to reduce alcohol and other drug-related harm.
National Health and Medical Research Council. (2009). Australian guidelines to reduce health risks from drinking alcohol: Commonwealth of Australia. Page 5. Available at http://www.nhmrc.gov.au/guidelines/publications/ds10
Peadon, E, Payne, J, Henley, N, D'Antoine, H, Bartu, A, O'Leary, C, Bower, C, & Elliott, EJ. (2010). Women's knowledge and attitudes regarding alcohol consumption in pregnancy: a national survey. BMC Public Health, 10, 510.
France, K. (2011) Creating Persuasive Messages to Promote Abstinence from Alcohol During Pregnancy. Theses: Doctorates and Masters. Paper 413. http://ro.ecu.edu.au/theses/413