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Since 1999, FASD activists have held World FASD Awareness Day events on 09/09 to represent the nine months of pregnancy, often highlighted with a bell ringing ceremony at 9:09 am. September 9, 2016 is approaching, and this year activists want to use social media because it provides a unique and far-reaching means of building awareness.
You can help build FASD awareness by posting a message, reposting theirs, or bringing attention to their events on your own social media accounts.
This year Canada Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder Research Network (CanFASD) is providing an online forum for organizations to post their initiatives on the CanFASD website. Include a description and a picture or video and they will re-post and Tweet it out to all of their followers. You can post using #FASDAwarenessDay #CanFASD and win prizes.
The Executive Director of CanFASD , Audrey McFarlane says “ CanFASD is very pleased to be able to highlight the fantastic work that the local communities are doing to raise awareness of FASD on September 9 as the local FASD service providers and caregivers are the hardworking folks that manage this work everyday.”
Their social media campaign includes:
- A Twitter Chat using the hashtag #FASDMonth as well as offering tweets you can use to send out to others.
- A one-time message commemorating FASD Awareness Day can be posted to your social media accounts using ThunderClap – a crowd-speaking platform using social media. Learn more here.
- A campaign to create a video that will feature an inflatable globe being “passed” around the world. Click here to learn more about the campaign.
The University of Auckland is hosting a FASD Policy and Research Forum starting at 9 a.m. on FASD Awareness Day. Find out more here. To find more information, links, and downloads from New Zealand, visit the Fetal Alcohol Network NZ and the Ako Aotearoa learning website for the Pregnancy and Alcohol Cessation Toolkit for providers.
To learn more about the history of FASD Awareness Day and get more ideas for events, click on FASD Awareness Day website.
Is your group, organization, or country planning a FASD Awareness Day event? Please share them in the Comments section below.
Previous postings about FASD Awareness Day
Today is International FASD Awareness Day, September 9, 2015
Today is International FASD Awareness Day, September 9, 2014
FASD Annotated Bibliography, Part 2
It seems more attention is being brought to preconception health and its role in FASD prevention. We have known about the value of preconception intervention for many years. The Project CHOICES Research Group described positive intervention results using Motivational Interviewing in 2003 . Yet now attention to the preconception period seems to be “trending.”
Preconception intervention has been discussed all along (we were asking about it in a landmark study in the ‘90s), but the recent actions like U.S. CDC recommendations and Yukon’s placement of pregnancy tests in bars are certainly highlighting preconception alcohol use and health behaviours. The current Annotated Bibliography of articles published on FASD prevention seems to bear this recent focus out:., there were a total of five articles on preconception efforts in the 2013 list; and in articles published in 2015, that number has doubled.
In the latest annotated list, Landeen et al. says that the “fetal origin of disease theory” provides the rationale for providing preconception interventions. Johnson et al. describe the development and dissemination of the CHOICES model and its successful adaptation in a variety of settings. Hanson et al. have written three articles that expand on the work they did adapting and implementing a CHOICES program with the Oglala Sioux Tribe in the U.S.[5-7]. Analyses by Hussein et al., Mitra et al. and Oza-Frank et al. suggest that preconception interventions must be tailored if they are to be successful. McBride stresses the need for preconception counseling for men, as substance use during pregnancy is not solely a decision made by women or under their control .
Members of the pNAT are currently undertaking a review of the literature on preconception interventions and formulating recommendations for a national research agenda. They will present some of these recommendations at the research meeting in August at the University of Regina (See www.canfasd.ca for more info on this meeting).
In keeping with our understanding of multiple forms of evidence, we are interested in knowing what you are seeing and hearing about preconception interventions on alcohol. Has preconception intervention been a part of your practice for a while? Who is funded to provide it in your location? What has worked, and how has it worked, in your experience?
For further reading on preconception interventions, see earlier postings:
Alcohol and FASD: It’s not just about women, June 6, 2016
FASD Prevention needs to begin before pregnancy: Findings from the US National Survey on Family Growth, May 20, 2015
Global Trends in Unintended Pregnancy: Implications for FASD Prevention, October 13, 2014
Impact Evaluation of the Healthy, Empowered and Resilient (H.E.R.) Pregnancy Program in Edmonton, Alberta, February 7, 2014
FASD Prevention in Nova Scotia, April 25, 2013
The Sacred Journey – new resource for service providers who work with First Nations families, August 1, 2012
FASD Prevention in Russia, February 15, 2012
New book: Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder: Management and Policy Perspectives of FASD, Jan 6, 2011
- Reducing the risk of alcohol-exposed pregnancies: A study of a motivational intervention in community settings. Pediatrics, 2003. 111(Supplement 1): p. 1131-1135.
- Astley, S.J., et al., Fetal Alcohol Syndrome primary prevention through FAS Diagnosis II, A comprehensive profile of 80 birth mothers of children with FAS Alcohol and Alcoholism, 2000. 35(5): p. 509-519.
- Landeen, L.B., R. Bogue, and M. Schuneman, Preconception and prenatal care–useful tools for providers of women’s health. South Dakota Medicine: The Journal Of The South Dakota State Medical Association, 2015. Spec No: p. 36-43.
- Johnson, S.K., M.M. Velasquez, and K. von Sternberg, CHOICES: An empirically supported intervention for preventing alcohol-exposed pregnancy in community settings. Research on Social Work Practice, 2015. 25(4): p. 488-492.
- Hanson, J.D., K. Ingersoll, and S. Pourier, Development and implementation of choices group to reduce drinking, improve contraception, and prevent alcohol-exposed pregnancies in American Indian women. Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment, 2015.
- Hanson, J. and J. Jensen, Importance of Social Support in Preventing Alcohol-Exposed Pregnancies with American Indian Communities. Journal of Community Health, 2015. 40(1): p. 138-146 9p.
- Hanson, J.D. and S. Pourier, The Oglala Sioux Tribe CHOICES Program: Modifying an Existing Alcohol-Exposed Pregnancy Intervention for Use in an American Indian Community. International Journal Of Environmental Research And Public Health, 2015. 13(1).
- Hussein, N., J. Kai, and N. Qureshi, The effects of preconception interventions on improving reproductive health and pregnancy outcomes in primary care: A systematic review. The European Journal Of General Practice, 2015: p. 1-11.
- Mitra, M., et al., Disparities in adverse preconception risk factors between women with and without disabilities. Maternal and Child Health Journal, 2015.
- Oza-Frank, R., et al., Provision of specific preconception care messages and associated maternal health behaviors before and during pregnancy. American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology, 2015. 212(3): p. 372.e1-372.e8.
- McBride, N., Paternal involvement in alcohol exposure during pre-conception and pregnancy. Australian Nursing & Midwifery Journal, 2015. 22(10): p. 51-51.
Each year, researchers with the Prevention Network Action Team (pNAT) of CanFASD Research Network conduct an international literature review of academic articles published on FASD prevention. Rose Schmidt and Nancy Poole of BC Centre of Excellence for Women’s Health looked at articles published between January and December 2015 and compiled a comprehensive bibliography of 88 FASD prevention-related articles – an increase of 25 articles from last year. With this review, those working on FASD prevention will be able to update themselves on the most current evidence and tailor policy and practice accordingly.
The bulk of the articles have come from the U.S., Canada and Australia, the United Kingdom and South Africa, in that order. The articles are organized under the four-level prevention framework created by the pNAT, as well as including articles related to FASD prevalence, influences, issues of preconception, indigenous women and young women. Fourteen articles were assigned to more than one topic category.
A look at “prevalence”
The topic category with the most articles was prevalence, followed in order by brief intervention with girls and women of childbearing age (Level 2), and influences. Preconception, raising awareness (Level 1), and specialized prenatal report (Level 3) also had a significant number of articles. We will highlight these topics individually in this blog over time in order to focus on key components of FASD prevention.
There were 26 articles having to do with prevalence rates as compared to seven articles in that category in 2014. They relate to specific location, U.S., Canada, Uganda, Norway and Tanzania, for instance, as well as pregnancy intentions, characteristics of women at risk for alcohol-exposed pregnancy, women’s understanding of risk factors during pregnancy, rates of binge drinking, adverse childhood experiences, and use of both alcohol and tobacco during pregnancy.
Some of the more compelling findings include:
- new data from Canada shows that 27% of pregnancies are unintended – useful in that previous data on unintended pregnancies has been from the U.S. only ;
- smoking currently or in the past increased the likelihood of consuming alcohol during pregnancy ;
- experiences of abuse and violence are associated with higher levels of drinking during pregnancy, as well as higher education levels and older maternal age [4-9];
- a “dose response” relationship was found to exist between adverse childhood experiences and drinking during pregnancy, and;
- smoking during pregnancy was the most consistent predictor of drinking during pregnancy .
Preconception behaviors as they relate to prevalence of alcohol-exposed pregnancies, in general, has become more of a focus in prevention efforts, and will be further discussed in upcoming blog posts on this bibliography.
For more information on FASD Prevention and Prevalence, see these earlier posts:
- Oulman, E., et al., Prevalence and predictors of unintended pregnancy among women: an analysis of the Canadian Maternity Experiences Survey. BMC Pregnancy & Childbirth, 2015. 15: p. 1-8.
- Lange, S., et al., Alcohol use, smoking and their co-occurrence during pregnancy among Canadian women, 2003 to 2011/12. Addictive Behaviors, 2015. 50: p. 102-109.
- Frankenberger, D.J., K. Clements-Nolle, and W. Yang, The association between adverse childhood experiences and alcohol use during pregnancy in a representative sample of adult women. Women’s Health Issues, 2015. 25(6): p. 688-695.
- English, L., et al., Prevalence of Ethanol Use Among Pregnant Women in Southwestern Uganda. Journal Of Obstetrics And Gynaecology Canada: JOGC = Journal D’obstétrique Et Gynécologie Du Canada: JOGC, 2015. 37(10): p. 901-902.
- González-Mesa, E., et al., High levels of alcohol consumption in pregnant women from a touristic area of Southern Spain. Journal of Obstetrics & Gynaecology, 2015. 35(8): p. 821-824.
- Dunney, C., K. Muldoon, and D.J. Murphy, Alcohol consumption in pregnancy and its implications for breastfeeding. British Journal of Midwifery, 2015. 23(2): p. 126-134.
- Kingsbury, A.M., et al., Women’s frequency of alcohol consumption prior to pregnancy and at their pregnancy-booking visit 2001–2006: A cohort study. Women & Birth, 2015. 28(2): p. 160-165 6p.
- Kitsantas, P., K.F. Gaffney, and H. Wu, Identifying high-risk subgroups for alcohol consumption among younger and older pregnant women. Journal of Perinatal Medicine, 2015. 43(1): p. 43-52 10p.
- Lanting, C.I., et al., Prevalence and pattern of alcohol consumption during pregnancy in the Netherlands. BMC Public Health, 2015. 15(1): p. 1-5.
- O’Keeffe, L.M., et al., Prevalence and predictors of alcohol use during pregnancy: findings from international multicentre cohort studies. BMJ Open, 2015. 5(7): p. e006323-e006323.
From the FASDay website:
“The first FAS Day began on September 9, 1999 in Auckland, New Zealand, where “Minute of Reflection” bells rang at 9:09 a.m., at Mt Albert Methodist church. Then it moved to Adelaide, Australia, and then to South Africa, where at 9:09 a.m., Cape Town volunteers gathered to hear the War Memorial Carillon that rang when Nelson Mandela was released from prison.
Volunteers in Italy, Germany and Sweden held events – and then FASDay crossed the Atlantic. There were events in every time zone across Canada and the U.S., including ringing of carillons in Toronto, Niagara Falls, Hastings, NE, and Austin & San Antonio, Texas. The westernmost activity was the community breakfast on the tiny island of Kitkatla, B.C., near the Queen Charlotte Islands, where the village bell rang at 9:09 a.m. followed by prayers in the native tongue by village elders.”
Events to increase awareness about FASD are happening all over the world today and throughout September. Find out what’s happening in your community.
The image above is from a poster and brochure developed by the British Columbia Liquor Distribution Branch. (Each of Canada’s 13 provinces and territories has a liquor board or commission that oversees the control, distribution and sale of beverage alcohol in its jurisdiction. Many boards run FASD Awareness campaigns in the month of September as part of their social responsibility initiatives).
Here are a few other resources on FASD developed by members of the Canada FASD Research Network that you might want to share with others.
Some of the prevention-related topics include:
- Dose-response effect of alcohol consumption during pregnancy and prenatal alcohol exposure: A brief review
- Warning Labels
- Meconium Screening for FASD in Pregnancy
- Prevention of FASD: A multi-level model
- Nutritional Supplementation and FASD
Other topics related to FASD more generally include:
- Computer Game Interventions for Individuals with FASD
- Employment and FASD: Strategies for Success
- FASD and the Criminal Justice System
- Social and Economic Cost of FASD
- Stigma, Discrimination and FASD
These issue papers can be a great way to catch up on recent research or to get a quick overview of an area of work you’re not as familiar with. All the issue papers can be downloaded from the Canada FASD Research Network website.
The Intervention Network Action Team (iNAT) of the Canada FASD Research Network focuses on research and knowledge translation in FASD interventions.
Check out the team’s 14th newsletter here and visit the FASD Intervention blog here. This newsletter includes interviews with folks working on the Caribbean Quest intervention program that aims to improve attention and working memory as well as information about the Strongest Families Research program.
Yes, that’s right, the Girls, Women, Alcohol, and Pregnancy blog is 4 years old today!
Thank you to everyone who reads our blog for your continuing support. There were over 40,000 visits from you lovely people from all over the world (as you can see in the map below).
Just in case you’re interested, here are the top 10 most viewed posts since July 2013.
Here are some of my favorite posts for the year (based on newsworthiness, interest, and other unquantifiable factors).
- Honouring Our Strengths: Culture as Intervention in Addictions Treatment (June 5, 2014)
- How Men Can Help Prevent FASD (March 11, 2014)
- Impact Evaluation of the Healthy, Empowered and Resilient (H.E.R.) Pregnancy Program in Edmonton, Alberta (February 7, 2014)
- Cancer and Alcohol: Canada’s Low Risk Drinking Guidelines (January 27, 2014)
- Advice for Journalists Reporting on FASD (November 18, 2013)
This blog is an initiative of the Canada FASD Research Network. Learn more about our activities by visiting our website.
Because FASD prevention initiatives often focus on alcohol and pregnancy, people often have questions about how men can get involved.
For more on men and FASD prevention, see earlier posts:
Last week, the Canada FASD Research Network hosted “FASD Prevention Research and Knowledge Translation: Developing a Pan-Canadian Agenda Workshop” in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.
The event received news coverage in The Star Phoenix: More education on fetal alcohol effects needed (January 21, 2014).
The coverage also led to a series of editorials with a range of perspectives:
- FASD requires more than talk (January 22, 2014)
- Natives’ plight our shame (Murray Mandryk, January 24, 2014)
- Families need support earlier (Bob Pringle, January 24, 2014)
- Don’t stereotype (Anna Niessen, January 29, 2014)
Video on Legal Issues and FASD Prevention now available
In September 2013, the Institute of Health Economics (IHE) held the first-ever Consensus Development Conference on Legal Issues of FASD in Edmonton, Alberta.
The three-day conference examined issues such as:
- What are the implications of FASD for the legal system?
- Is there a need for enhanced efforts to identify people with FASD and how can these efforts be achieved?
- How can the criminal justice system respond more effectively to those with FASD?
- How can family courts and the family/child welfare legal system address the specific needs of people with FASD?
- What are the best practices for guardianship, trusteeship and social support in a legal context?
- What legal measures are there in different jurisdictions to contribute to the prevention of FASD and what are the ethical and economic implications of these measures?
Nancy Poole, Director of Research and Knowledge Translation at the British Columbia Centre of Excellence for Women’s Health and FASD Prevention Team Lead with the Canada FASD Research Network, gave a fantastic 30 minute presentation called “Legal measures to contribute to prevention of FASD, effectiveness and ethical issues.“ Some of the issues that she addresses are:
- Alcohol and pregnancy warning labels
- Measures to ban selling or serving alcohol to pregnant women
- Interventions targeted at pregnant women with addictions
- Measures related to contraception, and
- Compulsory testing of pregnant women for alcohol
Some of the issues discussed following the presentation included the importance of alcohol brief interventions by health care providers, involving men in FASD prevention, subsidizing long-acting contraception, targeted vs. universal interventions, the relationship between women’s empowerment and successful FASD prevention, and the broader context of alcohol consumption in society.
Some of the themes from this presentation can be found in the Consensus Statement developed following the conference.
The 2013 Consensus Statement on Legal Issues of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) was produced by a distinguished jury led by the Honourable Ian Binnie, former Justice of the Supreme Court of Canada, and includes a range of recommendations calling for changes to the way people with FASD are dealt with by the legal system in Canada. Recommendations related to FASD prevention (p. 35) included:
59. Develop a comprehensive FASD prevention strategy for Canada.
60. Develop gender-specific programs and create opportunities for women and men to discuss with their health care provider relationship issues, child care, and alcohol consumption.
61. Prevention programs should focus on those areas in which positive effects have been demonstrated. In particular, it may be worthwhile to examine interventions involving the mother-child unit. Such approaches might help reduce the likelihood of subsequent children with FASD after a child is found to suffer from an intellectual impairment or neurological disorder such as FASD.
62. Develop evidence-based mandatory training programs for front-line workers on how to talk to women in a secure, non-threatening fashion about the underlying causes of alcohol consumption