Consequences On Consuming Alcohol During Pregnancy

The study describing that consuming alcohol use during pregnancy; can have a variety of harmful consequences on the fetus. Lifelong effects include growth restriction, characteristic facial anomalies, and neurobehavioral dysfunction. According to study no amount of alcohol use during pregnancy has been proven safe.

By this a recent survey of midwives and nurses who provide prenatal care showed that 44% think one drink per occasion is acceptable while pregnant; and 38% think it is safe to drink alcohol during at least one trimester of pregnancy. Many prenatal care providers remain inadequately informed of the risks of drinking during pregnancy.

The study analyzing 578 survey responses from professional members of the American College of Nurse Midwives. In collaboration with researchers at University of Massachusetts, the survey assessing knowledge of the effects of prenatal alcohol use, attitudes toward and perceived barriers to screening for alcohol use; and the use of standard screening tools in clinical practice.

Alcohol use during pregnancy

As many screening tools are not validating for use in pregnant women. Midwives and nurses who believing alcohol was safe at some point in pregnancy were significantly less likely to screen their patients. This range of effects is knowing as fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD). There is no amount, pattern, or timing of alcohol use during pregnancy proven safe for a developing embryo or fetus.

Therefore, it is important to screen patients for alcohol use, inform them about alcohol’s potential effects during pregnancy, encourage abstinence, and refer for intervention if necessary. These results expand previous research that found prenatal care providers are often inadequately informed of the risks of drinking during pregnancy and fail to actively screen for alcohol use. Participants were recruited by e‐mail from the entire membership roster of the American College of Nurse‐Midwives.

Health effects of alcohol

The study recommending more comprehensive training for providers of care during pregnancies. Midwives need to understand the health effects of alcohol use during pregnancies; the importance of screening, and the most reliable screening tools to use;  midwives inquire about alcohol drinking during pregnancies or use recommended screening tools and barriers they perceive to alcohol screening has not been well established.

Perceived alcohol safety and perceived barriers to screening appeared to influence screening practices. Improving prenatal care provider knowledge about the effects of prenatal alcohol exposure; and the availability of valid alcohol screening tools will improve detection of drinking during pregnancy; provide more opportunities for meaningful intervention, and ultimately reduce the incidence of FASD.