Level 1 FASD Prevention, the awareness part of the FASD Prevention four-part model, fits into a much larger effort to prevent FASD that is not only about raising awareness and policy action, but also about intervention with women and children at various levels. FASD Prevention research indicates the need for a much broader focus than alcohol consumption alone to address the many adjacent problems that influence women’s drinking and wellness. Focusing on the prevalence of drinking in pregnancy and the risks associated with alcohol use in pregnancy helps us understand who is at risk and how to engage with them. However, to prevent FASD, we also need to focus on interventions and supports for women.
A mothers’ nutrition, access to prenatal care, use of other drugs, overall health, and stress levels exert enormous pressures on her life choices. Synthesizing intervention and support while taking into consideration poverty, experience of trauma and violence, resilience, experience of loss, context and isolation helps to inform the underlying reasons for the mother’s alcohol use. Understanding the indirect origins and triggers of substance abuse seeds the growth of compassion, not judgement, of acceptance and support, not isolation.