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Attitudes and behaviour predict women’s intention to drink alcohol during pregnancy: The challenge for health professionals

Peadon, E., Payne, J., Henley, N., et al. – 2011

Results of a study on risk factors for women’s alcohol consumption during pregnancy. Describes the negative effects of alcohol use during pregnancy and summarizes data on its prevalence. Authors surveyed a large number of Australian women on alcohol use during pregnancy. Over 34% reported drinking alcohol while pregnant in the past, and a large majority reported current drinking. Identified risk factors for alcohol use during pregnancy include past drinking while pregnant, disagreement with the idea that drinking during pregnancy is harmful, and current regular drinking (and smoking) behavior. Women with higher levels of education were also found to be more likely to drink alcohol during pregnancy. Authors found women’s attitudes to be greater predictors of drinking during pregnancy than knowledge. Article discusses the paradox of women with higher levels of education and knowledge being more likely to drink while pregnant. Notes need for targeted interventions for this group of high risk women.