Responsible from the Start!
Working Group on Alcohol and Responsibility / Bundesverband der Deutschen Spirituosen-Industrie und -Importeure e.V.
2009 > Ongoing
To promote abstention from alcohol during pregnancy and nursing.
To reduce the number of children born with alcohol-related disabilities (Fetal Alcohol Syndrome - FAS).
Women’s leaflet: Since February 2009, the brochure "Verantwortung von Anfang an! - Leitfaden für den Verzicht auf alkoholhaltige Getränke in Schwangerschaft und Stillzeit" ("Responsible from the Start! - Guidance on abstention from alcohol during pregnancy and nursing") containing advice to abstain from drinking alcoholic beverages during pregnancy and nursing along with information on Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS) has been given to pregnant women in the "gift box 'For you'" (promotional bag containing other information and mother/baby goods) together with the maternity record book via gynaecological practices. Since 2012, the brochure is also distributed in the "Happy-Mom" bag (similar to the above mentioned gift bag). Since June 2012, the leaflet has also been distributed via the Paediatric clinic and polyclinic at the university hospital in Münster and the FAS outpatient department at the outpatient clinic in Walstedde. Since the end of 2013, the leaflet has also been distributed via IDS Information Display Services GmbH - an information service company for healthcare - for gynaecological practices and midwives to pass on to pregnant women. Gynaecological practices had also been provided with practice packs containing posters and leaflets. Since April 2016, a "Happy Mom" app was created. A new edition of the leaflet was created in May 2017.
Girl’s flyer: Since May 2012, the BSI Working Group on Alcohol and Responsibility has published a flyer for girls and young women, "Verantwortung von Anfang an! – Was Mädchen über alkoholhaltige Getränke in der Schwangerschaft wissen sollten" ("Responsible from the Start! – What girls need to know about alcohol in pregnancy"), compiled with the expert assistance of Dr. med. Gisela Gille, the practising physician in Lüneburg and Honorary Member of the German Society of Gynecology and Obstetrics (DGGG). This flyer supplements the main guidance leaflet for pregnant and nursing women. The flyer has been handed out since 2014 for education purposes to girls from age 12 with the "Happy Me" bags they receive on their first visit to a gynaecological practice and during the J1 adolescent health checkup from age 13 with the "Happy Youth" leaflet. The Honorary Member also hands out the flyer in her training workshops.
Fetal Alcohol Syndrom leaflet: Since 2012, the BSI Working Group on Alcohol and Responsibility has published a leaflet, "Verantwortung von Anfang an! – Das Fetale Alkoholsyndrom" ("Responsibility from the Start! – Fetal Alcohol Syndrome"), compiled by Dr. Reinhold Feldmann, Paediatric clinic and polyclinic at the university hospital in Münster (UKM) and FAS outpatient department at the outpatient clinic Walstedde. The leaflet aims to promote a better understanding of children, adolescents and adults with prenatal alcohol damage. It offers practical tips for successfully helping those affected and gives pointers to potential therapy, school and statutory assistance for them and their families. A new edition of the leaflet was published in April 2017.
Posters: Gynaecological practices display information posters with special reference to the leaflet.
Website: On 7 December 2010 a dedicated website was launched and revised in 2013 and 2015. It contains advice, information on the effect of alcohol on the unborn child, tips for abstinence and FAQs.
Support: The initiative is supported by Dr. Reinhold Feldmann from the Paediatric clinic and polyclinic at the university hospital in Münster and FAS outpatient department at the outpatient clinic in Walstedde (who helped to create the brochure), the German Federal Drug Commissioner (who has signed the brochure since the 2nd edition) and the Parliamentary State Secretary in the Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture (who has recommended the brochure in a letter to parents to be since September 2009).
Press: The BVF featured articles about the initiative in the issues of the "FRAUENARZT" (GYNAECOLOGIST) magazine since 2012.
Distribution channels: "Happy Mom" bags, "Happy Me" bags, "Happy Youth" leaflet, "gift box 'For you'", IDS Information Display Services GmbH.
Paediatric clinic and polyclinic at the university hospital in Münster (UKM),
FAS outpatient department at the outpatient clinic Walstedde,
Practising physician in Lüneburg and Honorary Member of the German Society of Gynecology and Obstetrics (DGGG),
German Professional Association of Gynaecologists (BVF)
From launch until November 2017:
About 3.5 million leaflets were distributed to the target group via gynaecological practices, midwives, pregnancy advice services etc.
Due to demand, 125,000 copies of the German version and 12,000 copies of the English version of the FAS leaflet were distributed.
About 39,500 practice packs were sent to gynaecological practices.
About 315,000 girl’s flyers were distributed.
Measurement & evaluation
The campaigns are evaluated every year.
The 2016 evaluation regarding the flyer "Responsible from the Start! - What girls need to know about alcohol in pregnancy" was carried out from May 2016 to the end of November 2016. 182 responses (14-17 year old girl) were received. Results show:
99% felt well informed through the "Happy-Me" bag.
84% said that their doctor explained fully about the "Happy Me" bag’s contents.
89% read the "Responsible from the Start! – What girls need to know about alcohol in pregnancy" flyer.
Of which, 97% felt the content and the visual design was good.
73% reported that they had acquired new information and new knowledge from the leaflet.
In 2016, an evaluation of the "Responsible from the Start - Guidance on abstention from alcohol during pregnancy and nursing" showed that:
85% of pregnant women who received the leaflet in a "Happy Mom" bag also went on to read it.
72% said they learned something new.
92% stated that they learned how alcohol affects the unborn child from reading the leaflet.
84% confirmed that they learned that they should abstain from drinking alcohol whilst pregnant from the leaflet.
Another evaluation via IDS Information Display Services, carried out in September 2016, showed that:
69.4% of individuals taking part already knew the information in the leaflet and
82.9% gained new knowledge.
92.8% stated that they had learned how alcohol affects the unborn child from reading the leaflet.
95.5% said that they will completely abstain from alcohol during pregnancy in the future.