There are a lot of do's and don'ts when you are expecting a baby, underpinned by science that appears to flip and change at the push of a button.
One minute it's harmful to drink one or two cups of instant coffee a day, then the next, coffee is fantastic for a growing foetus - well, at least that is often what it feels like for expectant parents.
Guidelines and scientific studies are integral to our understanding of pregnancy because they allow us to understand more clearly the effect certain substances such as caffeine and alcohol can have on a growing baby. And as suspected rates of disorders such as foetal alcohol spectrum disorder increase in Australia and overseas, questions are being raised about whether the community knows enough about FASD.
It is under-reported and often undiagnosed or even misdiagnosed, confused with autism or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Health professionals may not know how to diagnose or where to refer for help, do not routinely ask pregnant women about their alcohol consumption, and do not want to stigmatise the mother or child by a diagnosis.
While these types of studies are important, maybe serious discussion needs to be had on whether a national prevention strategy needs to be implemented.
That way, a national approach could clearly articulate the potential dangers of alcohol to pregnant women and clear up some of the misconceptions that are out there. However, there is one thing that any approach (or any study for that matter) should do - and that is blame the mother or parent, or perpetuate messages of failure.
National guidelines could pave the way for the creation of more support services for people affected by FASD and create a network or services who can help people every step of the way.
It would also provide a way for parents to educate themselves about FASD and learn about what to do if they think they may be affected.
Stigma over this needs to be lifted, so that prevention, diagnosis and treatment can all exist in the one network, rather than in silos.