The key steps involved in delivering alcohol and pregnancy activities are provided below as a useful starting point for developing your Community Action Plan activity and informing your approach.
These steps provide an indicative guide; it is important to tailor your approach to your local community.
LDATs are not responsible for delivering alcohol and pregnancy activities, unless the group has the appropriate expertise. Their role is primarily to support communities to deliver quality activities to support women to abstain from alcohol consumption prior to and during pregnancy.
This can be done in a number of ways, including:
Engage the community to get alcohol and pregnancy on the agenda by:
A critical role of LDATs is to engage with their community to put the benefits of abstaining from alcohol consumption during pregnancy on the public agenda and to motivate them to take action.
Tips for engaging the community:
Providing women in your community and their families with quality information and resources on alcohol and pregnancy by:
Pregnant women can often be bombarded with do’s and don’ts and may receive conflicting advice or minimal information on alcohol and pregnancy.
LDATs can be a resource for community organisations by providing them with evidence and data on the risks of consuming alcohol during pregnancy to help combat the mixed messages women may hear in the media and through their social circles.
Providing clear, evidence-based facts on the impact and effects of alcohol consumption in pregnancy is important. Information should be aligned with the National Health and Medical Research Council’s Australian Guidelines to Reduce Health Risks from Drinking Alcohol. The guidelines state that maternal alcohol consumption can harm the developing or breastfeeding baby, and recommend that for women who are pregnant, planning a pregnancy or breastfeeding, not drinking is the safest option.
LDATs can provide advice and support to help community organisations to determine a course of action for delivering quality alcohol and pregnancy activities, such as delivering awareness raising initiatives to debunk commonly held myths around alcohol consumption during pregnancy in the community.
For guidance on gathering reliable information view the Alcohol and Drug Foundation’s Building Successful Local Drug Action Teams: A Practical Guide – Identifying alcohol and drug issues.
A key role of LDATs is to link parents-to-be and families to quality alcohol and pregnancy activities, which may include:
Support your partners to get a small win on the board, in order to build momentum and a sense of accomplishment. This will strengthen their action to prevent alcohol and other drug harms off to a positive start.
Working with identified community organisations to facilitate open communication about alcohol and
Communication around alcohol and pregnancy is important, and if done poorly, may lead to poor uptake of activities and community misunderstanding due to people being ill informed about the purpose, content and outcomes/benefits of the activities.
Your group can support community organisations with communication. This may include helping groups to develop promotional materials, promoting activities and providing a sounding board on how to frame and communicate different activities.
Key considerations when communicating alcohol and pregnancy activities:
Promote collaboration between community organisations to:
LDATs have a key role in facilitating productive partnerships in the community. Collaboration between community organisations may focus on:
Measure and report on the success of your Alcohol and Pregnancy activity.