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Most Women Who Drink Before Pregnancy Continue While Pregnant

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Most women who drink before becoming pregnant continue consuming alcohol throughout their pregnancy, Australian researchers have found.

A study of 1,969 women found 82 percent consumed some alcohol during pregnancy, HealthCanal.com reports. Of these women, 77 percent consumed one or two drinks on the days they drank, and 90 percent drank no more than once or twice a week.

Women who drank weekly before pregnancy were 50 percent more likely to continue drinking during pregnancy, compared with women who drank less than weekly. Those who reported binge drinking before becoming pregnant were more than twice as likely to continue to drink during pregnancy.

Women who had fertility problems were 36 percent less likely to drink, compared with women who did not have difficulty becoming pregnant.

The study appears in BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology.

A study published last year by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found almost 8 percent of pregnant women report alcohol use. The study analyzed data from almost 14,000 pregnant women and more than 330,000 non-pregnant women ages 18 to 44. About one in 13 pregnant women, or 7.6 percent, said they drank alcohol within the past month, compared with 51.5 percent of non-pregnant women.

The researchers found 1.4 percent of pregnant women reported binge drinking. Among pregnant women who said they engaged in binge drinking, those with a high school education or less reported binge drinking an average of 3.4 times a month, and having 6.4 drinks per occasion. In contrast, college graduates reported binge drinking 2.5 times per month, with 5.4 drinks per occasion. Binge drinking was more common among unmarried women.

3 Responses to this article

  1. Avatar of Barbara Kelly
    Barbara Kelly / October 31, 2013 at 7:09 am

    Having alcohol during pregnancy can be harmful for a pregnant lady as well as for fetus which is why it is often advised not to take alcohol during pregnancy days. Pregnancy is the most important phase of a women’s life and what she drinks can actually affect the health of her fetus. What she drinks, her baby drinks the same so a pregnant lady should avoid having harmful drinks during these days.

  2. Avatar of Cynthia F.
    Cynthia F. / July 19, 2013 at 1:29 pm

    These are frightening statistics, given the
    probability that the fetus will suffer damage from the alcohol. My adopted daughter has fetal alcohol syndrome, and it has been a heartbreaking experience to watch her suffer with medical and psychological issues, and significant learning disabilities because of this. This was 100% preventable! Please help us get the word out: if you are pregnant, or trying to get pregnant, as the Surgeon General states, “No amount of alcohol is safe”.

  3. kathy page / July 18, 2013 at 1:08 pm

    nothing in here about the sequelae of drinking during pregnancy…not one word. roughly 5% of us are on the spectrum of fetal alcohol damage, in conservative estimates. fetal alcohol spectrum disorders show up as ad/hd, bad parenting, bipolar disorder, symptoms of autism…a veritable fruit cup of little pieces of the whole condition. of all our authoritative sources, the partnership should be among the first to blast this news out there.

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