High rates of risky drinking in pregnancy: study

The University of Newcastle research involved analysis of a cohort of women from the Australian Longitudinal Study on Women’s Health. Participants were born between 1973 and 1978 and had previously reported risky drinking patterns, such as weekly drinking, binge drinking or both,  prior to becoming pregnant.

Of 1577 women, 46% reported binge drinking prior to pregnancy, 48% reported both weekly drinking and binge drinking, while 6% said they consumed alcohol at least weekly but without any binge drinking.

Among the binge drinkers, 55% continued to binge drink during pregnancy, while 29% cut back, and 16% abstained altogether.

In women who reported both weekly and binge drinking, 61% continued to binge during pregnancy and 47% continued weekly drinking. Some 41% said they reduced weekly drinking and 26% reduced binge