What is the initiative?

This initiative has developed resources to help health professionals discuss alcohol and pregnancy with women.

It encourages health professionals to:

Why is it important?

Drinking alcohol when pregnant can have serious effects on the health of an unborn and newborn baby. Avoiding alcohol is the safest option when pregnant or planning pregnancy.

Research showed that:

  • many pregnant women didn’t know much about the effects of alcohol
  • some medical professionals didn’t discuss alcohol because they:
    • were unsure of what advice to provide
    • didn’t know where to refer women if needed
    • felt women might be uncomfortable or already know the risks

We think it’s important that all health professionals feel confident discussing alcohol and pregnancy. With the right skills and knowledge, they can help to reduce the harmful effects of alcohol in our community.

What does it aim to do?

We funded this initiative to make sure:

  • health professionals have the skills and knowledge they need to discuss alcohol and pregnancy with women
  • women who are pregnant, planning pregnancy or breastfeeding have the advice they need

How will it do this?

Accredited training

This initiative has developed accredited training modules for health professionals. They include information on:

  • the effects of alcohol during pregnancy
  • ways to discuss alcohol and pregnancy
  • how to assess a woman’s drinking
  • what advice to provide
  • referral

Health professionals can complete these online courses through the:

  • Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP)
    All members can access the free RACGP Alcohol in pregnancy course.
     
  • Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RANZCOG)
    All health professionals can access the free RANZCOG Women Want to Know course. Non-members must select the ‘Log in as a guest’ button and use the guest access password FARE254.
     
  • Australian College of Midwives (ACM)
    All health professionals can access the ACM Women Want to Know course. Non-members must first create a user account.

Publications and videos

This initiative has also created a range of publications and videos including:

  • brochures for health professionals
  • posters and brochures for consumers
  • videos of health professionals discussing alcohol and pregnancy with women

These are all available online. Health professionals can also order hard copies of some resources.

Women Want To Know resources

The Women Want To Know initiative has created resources to help health professionals discuss alcohol and pregnancy with women. The resources include brochures, posters and videos.

Who is involved?

The Foundation for Alcohol Research and Education (FARE) developed this initiative.

The working group included representatives from the:

  • RACGP
  • RANZCOG
  • ACM
  • Australian Medical Association (AMA)
  • Australian Medicare Locals Alliance (AMLA)
  • Australian Government Department of Health

A consumer representative from the Maternity Coalition also took part in developing the initiative.

Who can I contact to find out more?

To find out more about this initiative, contact FARE.

Foundation for Alcohol Research and Education (FARE) contact

Visit the FARE website to find out what they're doing to influence government policy on alcohol. Learn about the alcohol-focused research they support and browse their other resources about alcohol.

View contact

Last updated: 
21 June 2019
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