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32% of Australian Women Plan on Drinking While Pregnant

posted 02:15 PM EST, Wed May 14, 2008
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32% of Australian Women Plan on Drinking While Pregnant © Photo: Mtoz

34% percent of polled Australian women drank alcohol during their last pregnancy - 32% plan on drinking during their next one.

A survey study of 1103 Australian women in 2006 shows that more than a third drank alcohol during pregnancy, and an about equal number of women plan to drink alcohol during a next pregnancy.

Surprisingly, the more educated the women were, the more likely they were to have used alcohol during a pregnancy.

Pediatrician Elizabeth Peadon, of Westmead Hospital in Sydney, said that there was no safe minimum guideline for alcohol consumption, saying, "All we can really say to women is the safest thing to do is not to drink during pregnancy."

Interestingly, although 80% of the polled women agreed that pregnant women should not drink, 34% admitted to having imbibed while pregnant.

Dr. Peadon said that she was "alarmed" by the study results, particularly by the fact that 32% of women expected to drink alcohol during any future pregnancy, and by the fact that college educated women were twice as likely to drink during that period as high school graduates.

The survey questionnaire did not ask women how much alcohol they had consumed while pregnant.

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