The Women Want to Know project encourages health professionals to routinely discuss alcohol and pregnancy with women and to provide advice that is consistent with the National Health and Medical Research Council’s Australian Guidelines to Reduce Health Risks from Drinking Alcohol. This is the first national campaign targeted at health professionals since the Alcohol Guidelines were last updated in 2009.
A survey of 300 health professionals conducted prior to the project found that one in five health professionals had not heard of the Guidelines and more than two in five (45%) were aware of the Guidelines but not familiar with the content.
The guidelines state that ‘Maternal alcohol consumption can harm the developing fetus or breastfeeding baby’ and ‘For woman who are pregnant or planning a pregnancy, not drinking is the safest option’ and ‘For women who are breastfeeding, not drinking is the safest option’.
Research has also shown that 97 per cent of Australian women want to be asked about alcohol use during pregnancy.
The Women Want to Know project was developed by the Foundation for Alcohol Research and Education (FARE) in collaboration with leading health professional bodies across Australia and is supported by funding from the Australian Government Department of Health.
There are two main components to the project: (1) resources to support health professionals in discussing alcohol use and pregnancy with women, and (2) accredited training.
Resources from the Women Want to Know project include:
- A leaflet for health professionals on pregnancy and alcohol HTML | PDF 359 KB
- A leaflet on assessing alcohol consumption in pregnancy using AUDIT-C HTML | (PDF 332 KB)
- A leaflet for women on pregnancy and alcohol HTML | (PDF 309 KB)
- A leaflet on the Women Want to Know project HTML | (PDF 331 KB)
- Videos demonstrating health professionals discussing alcohol and pregnancy with women
- Videos of women and health professionals reflecting on this experience
In addition three online e-Learning courses with Continuing Professional Development accreditation are available for health professionals through the:
- Royal Australian College of General Practitioners
- Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists
- Australian College of Midwives
Read the press release from the Foundation for Alcohol Research and Education here. Learn more about the project and recently developed resources here.