Guidelines for pregnancy: What’s an acceptable risk, and how is the evidence (finally) shaping up?
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Issues. The lack of consensus about whether low to moderate levels of prenatal alcohol exposure are a risk factor for fetaldevelopment has generated considerable debate about what advice policies and guidelines should provide. Approach.This paperreviews the evidence from systematic reviews and meta-analyses examining the risk from low and moderate levels of prenatalalcohol exposure, along with the results of articles published 2009–2010, after the reviews. Key Findings. The reportedsignificant effects from low levels of prenatal alcohol exposure are likely due to methodological issues such as confounding and/ormisclassification of exposure or outcome and there is no strong research evidence of fetal effects from low levels of alcoholexposure.However, harm is well-documented with heavy exposure and moderate levels of exposure, 30–40 g per occasion andno more than 70 g per week, have been demonstrated to increase the risk of child behaviour problems. Implications. Withsuch a small margin before there is increased risk to the fetus, it would be morally and ethically unacceptable for policies andguidelines to condone consumption of alcohol during pregnancy. Not all women will follow this advice and some women willinadvertently consume alcohol prior to pregnancy awareness requiring non-judgmental counselling and the provision of rationaladvice about the likelihood of risk to the fetus. Conclusions. The policy advice that ‘the safest choice for pregnant women isto abstain from alcohol during pregnancy’ should be maintained. However, the abstinence message needs to be presented in abalanced and rational manner to prevent unintended negative consequences.
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Giglia, Roslyn Carmel (2007)The consumption of alcohol and smoking of cigarettes are both common practices in Australian society. With continued public health efforts exposure to both alcohol and nicotine during pregnancy has diminished, however ...
Peadon, E.; Payne, J.; Henley, N.; D'antoine, Heather; Bartu, Anne; O'Leary, C.; Bower, C.; Elliott, E. (2010)Background. Alcohol exposure in pregnancy is a common and modifiable risk factor for poor pregnancy and child outcomes. Alcohol exposure in pregnancy can cause a range of physical and neurodevelopmental problems in the ...
McCormack, C.; Hutchinson, D.; Burns, L.; Wilson, J.; Elliott, E.; Allsop, Steve; Najman, J.; Jacobs, S.; Rossen, L.; Olsson, C.; Mattick, R. (2017)Background: Current estimates of the rates of alcohol-exposed pregnancies may underestimate prenatal alcohol exposure if alcohol consumption in early trimester 1, prior to awareness of pregnancy, is not considered. Extant ...