Alcohol Consumption During Pregnancy and Provider Screening
A Study appearing in the February edition of the journal Obstetrics & Gynecology examines the prevalence of prenatal alcohol consumption and the amount of provider screening and discussion about alcohol use during pregnancy.
Researchers utilized data from a stratified random sample of more than 12,000 mothers in the state of Maryland during 2001-2008 who completed the Maryland Pregnancy Risk Assessment Monitoring System survey. Nearly 8% of mothers studied reported consuming alcohol during the last three months of pregnancy. The highest prevalence of late-pregnancy alcohol consumption was reported by mothers who were non-Hispanic white, aged 35 years or older and college graduates.
Reported screening and counseling were least prevalent among this same group of mothers. Nineteen percent of mothers reported that their prenatal care provider did not ask whether they were consuming alcohol and 30% said that a health care provider did not counsel them about the consequences of alcohol use on their child.
The study authors conclude by noting that the counseling about alcohol consumption was less likely among the same groups of women with the highest rates of drinking, and that assessment of alcohol use should be further promoted as a routine part of prenatal care.
To review the study online, go to http://journals.lww.com/greenjournal/Abstract/2001/02000/Alcohol_Consumption_During_
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