It’s an independent campaign, but one we as an enterprise, but also me, personally, as a mum of a child with FASD, can completely get behind.
Diane, a mum and advocate, states in her petition:
Currently, women are not fully aware of the dangers of drinking in pregnancy or when planning to become pregnant. It is the responsibility of Public Health England to inform all women of these dangers so that they can make an informed choice to avoid drinking when planning to become pregnant and when pregnant
Why do we support this campaign?
I’ve heard people say that a public campaign against drinking whilst pregnant would lead to stigmatisation of mums who have a child with FASD, even though they didn’t know they were pregnant when drinking.
I vehemently oppose this argument.
I appreciate that a pregnancy isn’t always planned or expected, and nobody can judge anyone to whom this happens. We are talking about women who are planning and trying to get pregnant. Stopping drinking should, I believe, be as routine in this situation as giving up smoking and taking folic acid.
No pregnant woman, would say “oooh, I’ll just have the odd cigarette whilst I’m pregnant, it won’t do any harm”. Nor should they say the same about their tipple of choice.
What are the effects of FASD?
The effects of FASD are far reaching. This is the voice of experience! Our son, thankfully, is not too far along the spectrum. Apart from the facial features that can automatically signal the disability, there are the behavioural problems. These include, but aren’t limited to, hyperactivity, extreme anger and violence. There could be an inability to regulate behaviour, a lack of social skills and an inability to learn from consequences.
Add in short term memory failure, learning difficulties, and speech and language problems. You then have a child who will struggle through life because of a glass or two of wine during your pregnancy.
There is also a mental health aspect to consider. At 10 years old our son is already dealing with the anger at having these completely avoidable disabilities, and guilt and shame at having such feelings towards his birth mother.
What you can do to help this campaign!
So, I’m going to ask you to click here and sign the petition.
And then share the heck out of it and let’s make this happen.
Experts predict that FASD will be a bigger health problem for our children’s generation than Autism or ADHD. Let’s support Diana and her campaign and make them the last generation for whom this diagnosis is endemic.