Prevalence and predictors of alcohol use in pregnancy and breastfeeding among Australian women

Maloney, Elizabeth, Hutchinson, Delyse, Burns, Lucy, Mattick, Richard P. and Black, Emma 2011, Prevalence and predictors of alcohol use in pregnancy and breastfeeding among Australian women, Birth: issues in perinatal care, vol. 38, no. 1, pp. 3-9, doi: 10.1111/j.1523-536X.2010.00445.x.

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Title Prevalence and predictors of alcohol use in pregnancy and breastfeeding among Australian women
Author(s) Maloney, Elizabeth
Hutchinson, DelyseORCID iD for Hutchinson, Delyse orcid.org/0000-0003-3221-7143
Burns, Lucy
Mattick, Richard P.
Black, Emma
Journal name Birth: issues in perinatal care
Volume number 38
Issue number 1
Start page 3
End page 9
Total pages 7
Publisher Wiley
Place of publication Hoboken, N.J.
Publication date 2011-03
ISSN 0730-7659
1523-536X
Keyword(s) alcohol use
Australia
breastfeeding
pregnancy
prevalence
risk factors
Summary Background: Previous research suggests that alcohol use during pregnancy and breastfeeding has a negative impact on birth and neonatal outcomes. No threshold for this effect has been determined. The aim of this study is to determine the prevalence and correlates of alcohol use in pregnancy and lactation in a large representative sample of Australian women.

Method: Data were used from a large representative sample of Australian women drawn from the 2007 National Drug Strategy Household Survey. A complex sampling framework was used to elicit prevalence estimates for alcohol use during pregnancy and lactation. A logistic regression analysis was used to determine the psychosocial characteristics associated with alcohol use during the perinatal period.

Results: Alcohol use was reported by 29 percent of women who were pregnant in the past 12 months. In addition, 43 percent of women who were breastfeeding in the past 12 months reported alcohol use, whereas 36 percent of women who were both pregnant and breastfeeding in the past 12 months reported alcohol use. Most women (95%) reported a reduction in the quantity of their alcohol use while pregnant or breastfeeding. Older age was significantly associated with alcohol use in pregnancy, and also with alcohol use while breastfeeding (after controlling for other psychosocial characteristics). Higher educational attainment, and breastfeeding for more weeks in the past 12 months were significantly associated with alcohol use while breastfeeding, after controlling for confounding psychosocial factors.

Conclusions: More research is needed to ease uncertainty about "safe" levels of alcohol use during pregnancy and while breastfeeding. A high proportion of the sample reported alcohol use during pregnancy or lactation, despite uniform international government guidelines recommending that no alcohol should be consumed during the prenatal and postnatal periods. These results indicate that public health education campaigns about the risks of alcohol during these periods are needed.
Language eng
DOI 10.1111/j.1523-536X.2010.00445.x
Field of Research 111499 Paediatrics and Reproductive Medicine not elsewhere classified
11 Medical And Health Sciences
Socio Economic Objective 920507 Women's Health
HERDC Research category C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
ERA Research output type C Journal article
Copyright notice ©2010, The Authors
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30089477

Document type: Journal Article
Collections: Faculty of Health
School of Psychology
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