There is no safe level of alcohol during pregnancy. It can take just a couple of drinks at the wrong time for permanent brain injury to occur. The best prevention of FASD is zero alcohol during pregnancy.
Currently New Zealand’s drinking culture and unplanned pregnancy rate are crucial barriers to FASD being prevented. Rates of FASD will reduce when our society stops normalising heavy use of alcohol, and when women are fully informed and supported to make abstaining the easy choice during pregnancy. Support from friends, partners and families is especially important.
If drinking in the early stages of an unplanned pregnancy has occurred, then stopping drinking immediately will reduce the possibility of FASD. It is wise to seek professional help if stopping drinking at any time during pregnancy becomes difficult.
FASD-CAN is primarily concerned with supporting individuals with FASD and their whānau and caregivers, but there is much more information about alcohol use on the Alcohol Healthwatch website and the Alcohol Action NZ website.