Planning

We recommend LDATs support communities to deliver existing, evidence-informed Alcohol and Pregnancy projects in their community. 

Existing or new projects and activities

A number of evidence-informed projects exist in Australia. These include:

  • Pregnant Pause. Pregnant Pause is an initiative developed by the Foundation for Alcohol Research and Education (FARE), an independent not-for-profit working to stop the harm caused by alcohol. The campaign encourages Australians to go alcohol free during their pregnancy, or the pregnancy of their partner, family member, friend or loved one.

  • Your Fertility. Developed by a coalition of leading reproductive health organisations, this education program aims to ensure that every Australian who wants children has the best chance to have a healthy baby. The program focuses on five key factors to optimise fertility including alcohol. 

  • Women Want To Know. Developed by the Foundation for Alcohol Research and Education (FARE), 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 national guidelines.

A number of other awareness-raising campaigns and education programs focused on reducing alcohol consumption during pregnancy are delivered across Australia, including online learning packages, face-to-face training, workshops, seminars and conferences. Many focus specifically on preventing Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD). LDATs can contact the following two reputable organisations to explore their current training opportunities and whether they are relevant and available to deliver in their community:

  • National Organisation for Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (NOFASD). NOFASD offer information and training sessions primarily for parents and carers. 
  • FASD HUB Australia. FASD Hub Australia is a website developed by an alliance of organisations working to provide a 'one-stop shop' for evidence-informed information, tools and resources. The website lists education and training opportunities for health and other professionals, parents and carers.

We recommend LDATs link community organisations with existing, evidence-informed Alcohol and Pregnancy projects. Be mindful that the way that projects are delivered has an impact on desired outcomes (see below Critical considerations for the delivery of Alcohol and Pregnancy projects).

Review section below Resources required and Delivering Alcohol and Pregnancy projects: Key Steps for insight into what is required when supporting communities to develop Alcohol and Pregnancy projects. 

pregnancy

Critical considerations for the delivery of Alcohol and Pregnancy projects

Delivering evidence-informed projects is complex and challenging. The quality of the delivery has an impact on desired outcomes, meaning that projects, even effective ones, may not produce the desired effects for parents and children. Therefore, attention to how a program is delivered or implemented is as important to child, parent and community outcomes as what is delivered.

It is important that Alcohol and Pregnancy projects to reduce alcohol consumption during pregnancy are:

  • Culturally sensitive to the community where it is being delivered
  • Respectful
  • Informed by community knowledge, attitudes and practices
  • Focus on the damage that alcohol can do – not focus blame on the pregnant individual 
  • Engage not only women but all the community including men
  • Consistent with the Australian guidelines to reduce health risks from drinking alcohol [1]
  • Sensitive to the social stigma associated with the consumption of alcohol in pregnancy which can lead to women who are experiencing alcohol use disorder to not access treatment services
  • Focus on addressing the reasons that women in the community drink while pregnant.

Some factors that contribute to alcohol consumption include:

  • Lack of knowledge about the effects of alcohol on the fetus
  • Having a partner or friend who drinks
  • Lack of support from partner, friends and family
  • Living in a family or community tolerant of heavy drinking
  • Social isolation or living in remote communities
  • Poverty
  • Unemployment
  • Stress, domestic violence, loneliness which may result in self-medicating
  • Alcohol and other drug dependency (FASD Australia , 2018)

Your group may decide to select one or a combination of these factors to address in your efforts to reduce alcohol consumption during pregnancy in your community. These factors may help you define the objectives  of your project and guide you in your decision making about partnerships and resources. 

Setting objectives 

Setting objectives for your Community Action Plan is an important part of the planning process. 

Some example objectives for Alcohol and Pregnancy projects are provided below. Groups can develop their own objectives, although you may find these a useful starting point.

Communities that are delivering existing programs such as Pregnant Pause can use and/or adapt the objectives already established for these programs.

  • Support community organisations to take action to reduce alcohol consumption during pregnancy in the next 12 months 
  • Increase knowledge of the risks of alcohol consumption during pregnancy
  • Support women's intentions to abstain from alcohol during pregnancy
  • Increase number of women achieving an alcohol free pregnancy
  • Increase help-seeking behaviour among pregnant women with alcohol issues substance use issues
  • Reduce incidence of alcohol related developmental issues in babies such as FASD 
  • Support the development of a community culture where harms caused by drinking during pregnancy are fully understood.


Working with community partners 

Strong partnerships are critical to your success in preventing alcohol and other drug harms in the community. 

LDATs will work with a variety of different community partners to deliver Alcohol and Pregnancy projects, such as health care services and organisations that work directly with pregnant women and their partners and people undergoing family planning. You may also choose to work directly with service providers to facilitate referral pathways for pregnant women who want to discuss or engage with treatment for alcohol issues.  

LDAT partners can support Alcohol and Pregnancy projects in many different ways, including delivering projects, promoting programs, recruiting participants, providing expert trainers, financial support, and much more. 

The specific intervention being delivered may influence the type of individuals, networks and organisations that your group partners with. 

Partners may include:

  • Family planning services
  • Maternal Child Health Nurse
  • Women’s health services
  • General practitioners
  • Pharmacists
  • Community health centres and neighbourhood houses
  • Hospitals
  • Providers of prenatal care, e.g healthcare and other activities (e.g. yoga, walking groups)
  • Major employers and workplaces
  • Local council.
Find useful resources in Working with community partners.


Resources required 

All Alcohol and Pregnancy programs need to be adequately resourced. Below is an indicative list of resources required for community organisations to effectively deliver Alcohol and Pregnancy projects. LDATs may be able to support community organisations by providing some of these resources or linking them to other partners who can provide additional support.

Resources: 

  • Basic administrative tools.  Access to stationary and office supplies, printers, phones, printing, a workspace for administrative duties.  
  • Venue for Alcohol and Pregnancy sessions
  • Funds to undertake police checks/working with children checks where necessary
  • Knowledge/materials and/or funds to deliver training of staff
  • Knowledge/materials and/or funds to develop promotional material to promote Alcohol and Pregnancy projects and deliver awareness campaigns
  • Personnel time to liaise with community organisations (e.g. attend meetings, provide advice)
  • Insurance and liability coverage (where appropriate).


[1] FASD Hub Australia


Please get in touch to find out more about the program
Please get in touch to find out more about the program