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Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Drinking During Pregnancy - A New Report

English: Photograph of abdomen of a pregnant woman
English: Photograph of abdomen of a pregnant woman (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Many women plan their pregnancies. On the other hand, some women are genuinely surprised to learn they are pregnant either because they are practicing birth control or they have been told their ability to conceive is impacted by their own health issues or their partner's health issues. Then, of course, there are a number of women who become pregnant because their behavior patterns are risk-filled by abusing alcohol and drugs (both legal and illegal).  How women react to the news that they are pregnant, how they change their life styles or behavior patterns were the subject of a study published on Friday, July 20, 2012, by the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention.

345,076 women between the ages of 18 and 44 self-reported responding to a survey during the time frame of 2006-2010. Some results may surprise you:
  • About one in 13 women drink while pregnant
  • Of the women that do drink, one in four report binge drinking
  • 51% of non-pregnant women reported drinking in the past 30 days
  • 7% of pregnant women reported drinking in the past 30 days
  • 14% of those between the ages of 35 and 44 reported the highest amount of drinking
  • Women with college degrees were more likely to drink while pregnant, with 10% reporting at least one drink in the last 30 days
  • 5% of women with a high school diploma or less reported drinking in the last 30 days
Any study usually draws more questions. This study is no exception. Claire Marchetta, a CDC research fellow and one of the authors of the study reported when speaking to Reuters when addressing the issue of college educated women: "We do not know all the exact reasons...clearly, further research is needed to delineate this issue." Another author, Clark Denny, a CDC epidemiologist warned: "Any drinking is going to put your child at risk. You should not drink if you are pregnant, are considering getting pregnant or even if you could possibly get pregnant."

We have written before about the dangers of drinking while pregnant and here is a useful training video offered by the March of Dimes regarding using alcohol and drugs while pregnant. 

If you are having trouble viewing the video, you can see it here.
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