FASD NICE Quality Standards Statement 1: Pregnant women are given advice throughout pregnancy not to drink alcohol.
The DRYMESTER campaign resources in their current format are free to access and use, or they can be adapted to suit your messaging and locality. Contact info@drymester.org.uk for more information.

New Podcast Alert! FASD: A guide for Speech & Language Therapists

We’re thrilled to announce the launch of our new podcast, “FASD: A guide for Speech & Language Therapists.” This podcast aims to equip and empower Speech and Language Therapists, both learning and qualified, with the knowledge and tools to identify and address Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) in children. By raising awareness and improving recognition of FASD, we can help reduce cases of this preventable disorder and provide better support to affected individuals and their families.

Listen here:

Watch the video edition here:

Understanding FASD
FASD is a brain-based disorder caused by alcohol exposure during pregnancy. It affects millions of people in the UK, yet it remains chronically mis- or under-diagnosed. What sets FASD apart is that it can manifest in more than 400 co-occurring conditions throughout the body and across the lifespan. By delving into the language and communication aspects associated with FASD, this podcast provides valuable insights to help Speech and Language Therapists recognise the disorder’s various presentations. Find out more about FASD here.

The Role of Speech & Language Therapists
For most children with FASD, speech, language, and communication needs are prevalent, making Speech and Language Therapists crucial in identifying and supporting them. As the first point of contact for many families, Speech and Language Therapists play a vital role in ensuring early intervention and appropriate referrals to the multidisciplinary team. This podcast equips therapists with the knowledge to navigate the clinical presentation of FASD and understand the far-reaching impact on the lives of affected individuals and their families.

Expert Guests
The podcast features insightful conversations with leading professionals in the field, including Speech & Language Therapists Rachel Jackson and Morag Burns, who share their expertise and experiences in working with individuals with FASD. We are also joined by Sandy Butcher, the Chief Executive of the National Organisation for FASD, providing a comprehensive understanding of the disorder and its implications.

While the podcast primarily caters to Speech and Language Therapists, it also offers immense value for parents, carers, and educators of individuals with FASD.

Join us in this crucial conversation
To further enhance your knowledge on FASD and support services, we have included valuable resources and links below. These range from educational videos and guidance to organisations dedicated to FASD research, support, and training. We encourage you to explore these resources and extend your understanding beyond the podcast.

Approximately 41% of pregnant women are estimated to consume alcohol during pregnancy in the UK. Advice around drinking alcohol during pregnancy has been conflicting over the years and is usually passed along generations so there are many mixed messages about whether or not its safe.

Drinking alcohol during pregnancy can affect how the baby’s brain and body develops which can lead to a range of lifelong disabilities. Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) is the term used to describe the range of lifelong disabilities and includes over 400 known conditions that can include physical, mental, behavioural and learning difficulties.

A recent prevalence study carried out in Greater Manchester found that FASD may affect up to 3.6% of children.1 Based on recent birth statistics, that’s the equivalent of 1,202 babies born in Hertfordshire and Essex each year.

Essex County Council and Hertfordshire County Council are proud to partner and join Greater Manchester to introduce the #DRYMESTER conversation and help reduce the likelihood of cases of FASD by ensuring those who could be pregnant or planning a pregnancy know the expert advice: If you’re pregnant or planning a pregnancy, the safest approach is not to drink alcohol at all to keep risks to your baby to a minimum.

Since many pregnancies are not planned, some women may drink alcohol before they realise they are having a baby. If you are in this position, the best thing you can do for your baby is to stop at the earliest opportunity and avoid alcohol for the remainder of your pregnancy.

Keep an eye out on our social channels for more information, tips and advice and help us spread the word to keep risks to babies to a minimum and remember, there’s NO SAFE TIME, NO SAFE AMOUNT.


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  1. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/34590329/

This month, we’re proud to be launching a new initiative to workplaces across Greater Manchester, to help lead the way in supporting healthy pregnancies.

Our award winning #DRYMESTER campaign, commissioned by Greater Manchester Health and Social Care Partnership, will be extended to workplaces to raise awareness of the impacts of drinking alcohol during pregnancy, specifically Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD), and give businesses the guidance and tools they need to help support parents-to-be.

FASD is a condition with lifelong cognitive, emotional, behavioural and physical challenges. Recent prevalence research shows that FASD may affect up to 3.6% of children in Greater Manchester – that’s the equivalent of 1,238 children born each year.

There are many mixed messages relating to the risks of alcohol use in pregnancy, so this new phase of the #DRYMESTER campaign encourages workplaces to start the conversation, whether it’s with employees, customers, family or friends, and spread the word. The Chief Medical Officers’ guidance is that if you’re pregnant or planning to become pregnant, the safest approach is not to drink alcohol at all to keep risks to your baby to a minimum.

We’ve produced a range of downloadable resources to help introduce the #DRYMESTER conversation to workplaces, including posters, intranet and social graphics, a conversation guide and even a prepared learning session for employees. These are completely funded, so come at no cost to businesses.

With 41% of pregnancies in the UK alcohol-exposed, we’re asking for the help of Manchester businesses to reduce the likelihood of cases of FASD, by adding healthy pregnancies to their agenda. Whether that’s holding a #DRYMESTER lunch and learn session in the office, or simply posting a couple of social assets, it all helps us get one step closer to reducing the likelihood of children being born with the condition – awareness is the greatest agent for change.

For more information and to download the resources for use in your workplace, click here.

It’s time for change — it’s time to talk #DRYMESTER.

We are proud to announce that #DRYMESTER has been shortlisted for the CIM Marketing Excellence Awards in the category of Best not-for-profit/charity/social marketing campaign!

The award recognises marketing success in the pursuit of growth when lobbying, fundraising, expanding, informing or positively changing attitudes and behaviours. Inspiring and supporting Mums-to-be and their families to go alcohol free before and during pregnancy, has remained at the heart of the #DRYMESTER campaign since it’s launch, together with an intention to highlight the impact of Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD).

We would like to extend our thanks to the whole #DRYMESTER community for their continued support, from the campaign’s partners to everyone who has signed up to access the resources, tips and advice on how to go alcohol free, or support a loved one through pregnancy.

The National Awards will be held on 2nd April 2020 in London!

Christmas brings with it parties and gatherings, which might make it feel harder than usual to avoid alcohol when you’re pregnant.

The Chief Medical Officers guidance is that if you’re pregnant or planning to become pregnant, the safest approach is not to drink alcohol at all to avoid affecting your baby’s development and growth.

Here are some tips to help you enjoy the festive season whilst doing the best thing for you and your baby:

  1. Be upfront. Tell people you’re going alcohol free as advised by the Chief Medical Officers and you aren’t going to risk affecting your baby’s health. You could even take control and host your own alcohol free party or gathering.
  2. Recruit a buddy. It’s easier to go alcohol free if your partner or friend does it with you. Why not ask them to take part in #DRYMESTER and enjoy time together without the hangovers.
  3. Find support. If you’re struggling to go alcohol free, we have various resources to help and you can contact your midwife or GP or find specialist support services here.
  4. It’s the little things. Remember that Christmas is really about family and spending time with loved ones, don’t feel like you’re missing out by not drinking alcohol. Relax, say yes to those family board games or put your feet up and watch a Christmas film with your nearest and dearest.
  5. 12 Mocktails of Christmas. There are so many great non-alcoholic drink options available now that you won’t feel like you’re missing out. We’ve selected 12 tasty alcohol free alternatives for your typical festive drink – including Mulled (without the) Wine, Crimson Christmas Punch and Alcohol-free Egg Nog. You can access these by signing up and viewing our Parents-to-be resources here.

So, go on, raise an alcohol free glass or two this Chrsitmas to celebrate the festive season in style and keep risks to babies to a minimum.

Sign up below for the 12 Mocktails of Christmas recipes and free tips to help parents-to-be go alcohol free. Together we can champion healthy pregnancies this Christmas.

At #DRYMESTER, we’re encouraging mums-to-be to go alcohol free for the duration of their pregnancy as this is the safest approach for a healthy pregnancy. We’re also asking families, friends and local communities to get on board and show their support for mums-to-be this Christmas.

Here are just some of the ways you can support your loved one to go alcohol free.

  1. Sign up to #DRYMESTER and pledge to go alcohol free too. Showing solidarity throughout a partner’s pregnancy is the perfect Christmas gift.
  2. Encourage others to sign up to #DRYMESTER and pledge to go alcohol free for a set period of time. However long the pledge, the support will be welcomed by mums-to-be and may prevent a few unwanted hangovers for friends and family over the Christmas period.
  3. Don’t drink when out together in social situations. There’s nothing like the FOMO monster rearing its ugly head. Try and see things from a different perspective and go alcohol free for an evening!
  4. Bat away awkward alcohol conversations by letting people know that there is no safe time, or safe amount, to drink during pregnancy, and it’s not worth the risk.
  5. Take the lead by stocking up on a range of non-alcoholic drinks and offer these to friends and family when they visit. Impress away with your knowledge of exciting, alcohol free alternatives.
  6. Plan activities that don’t revolve around alcohol. Pregnancy can feel boring and isolating for some, so having social and recreational activities to look forward to can be just the ticket!
  7. Help reduce mum-to-be stress. Tiredness, as a symptom of pregnancy, can lead to irritation, lower resilience and increasing anxiety levels. Most times just talking things through, addressing concerns and providing help, can lighten the load.

It’s clear that the safest approach for healthier pregnancies is not to drink alcohol at all. But it’s also a win-win for you because there are lots of health improvements you can benefit from – sleeping better, losing weight, being more hydrated and enjoying higher energy levels. So, go on! Support your favourite mum-to-be this Christmas and raise an alcohol free glass or two, to celebrate the festive season in style. 

To get you started, sign up to #DRYMESTER below to download all our helpful tips and resources.