Deep in her heart, Natalie* had always known that her binge drinking during the first weeks of pregnancy had affected her little boy’s development. She’d spent enough fearful evenings online, researching the causes of his unmanageable tantrums, to know that Foetal Alcohol Syndrome Disorder (FASD) was more than a possibility. But no amount of mental preparation could have lessened her distress at hearing the doctor’s diagnosis in August 2018.
“The doctor struggled to find the words, she told me that they weren’t going to judge and that I shouldn’t blame myself,” says Natalie. “[But] I asked her not to sugar coat it.”