Most pregnant women continue drinking: 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 falling pregnant. 

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

While the authors observed that some women took positive steps to reduce risky drinking behaviours once they became pregnant, women who identified as binge drinkers were the least likely to do so.

Disturbingly, 55% of the binge drinkers continued to binge drink during pregnancy. Some 29% cut back, and 16% abstained altogether. 

In women who reported both weekly and binge drinking, 61% continued to binge during