Getting a diagnosis of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder is so much easier if prenatal alcohol exposure is already confirmed. This is why it's essential to avoid stigma for mothers – if they feel unsafe around telling assessors there was alcohol involved in their pregnancy, they may be less inclined to let them know, potentially resulting in an incorrect, or no diagnosis.
At FASD-CAN we believe no mother intentionally harms her child and we know that reasons for alcohol exposure can include addiction (this alone can be very complex) and unplanned pregnancy – around 40% of pregnancies in Aotearoa are unplanned. This can mean the mother has been drinking alcohol but is unaware she is pregnant. FASD is everywhere, in all walks of life.
We are 100% committed to non-judgemental support and compassion for all mothers.
There is essential information around avoiding stigma in the internationally-recognised FASD Language Guide and the FASD Common Messaging Guide (both on our Resources page).