Sunday, February 23, 2003

Pregnant women keep on drinking
By Julie Robotham, Medical Writer
February 24 2003

"More than half of Australian women drink alcohol while they are pregnant or breastfeeding, and a quarter smoke, according to the first national survey on drug use during pregnancy. While almost all of those who drank said they reduced their consumption compared with their non-pregnant intake, Australian women were still more than three times as likely as those in the United States to drink at all while pregnant. Just over a third of the 83 per cent of women who usually drank alcohol gave it up completely, leaving 53 per cent taking at least an occasional drink - compared with 15 per cent in the US." [This article doesn't break down the number of mothers who drank while pregnant vs breastfeeding - unfortunate. If we are going to ask mothers to nurse their babies for a minimum of 2 years, we're asking them to give up drinking for almost 3 years, which is a long time for a social drinker who doesn't have an alcohol problem. Is this based on evidence? - JC]

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