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Risk Factors of Drinking Before, and During, Pregnancy

t planned their pregnancy.

"These data are in agreement with other Australian studies, and studies from the United States and Britain," said O'Leary. "It is concerning, however, that with the range of contraceptive options available to women that such a high proportion of pregnancies are unplanned." Furthermore, she added, the women who had planned their pregnancies were significantly less likely to drink alcohol during the first trimester than women who did not plan their pregnancy. "This would indicate that many pregnancies may be exposed to high levels of alcohol during the periconceptional period, prior to pregnancy awareness."

More than half of the women (58.7%) drank alcohol during pregnancy despite the recommendation at the time of the study (1995–1997) of abstinence.

"It is interesting to note that the number of women who consumed alcohol during the 2nd trimester (42.4%) was similar to the number during the 1st trimester (42.1%)," said Colvin.

'Despite what initially appears alarming, said Colvin, "it is actually encouraging that many women who drank alcohol reduced their consumption in the first trimester of pregnancy. With appropriate information, they and others may be able to further reduce or abstain from consuming alcohol when they are pregnant or might soon become pregnant.

Both Colvin and O'Leary were concerned about "binge" drinking among women of childbearing age.

Source-Eurekalert
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