APRIL 2, 2007
Doctors and other health professionals who care for pregnant women are being encouraged to talk openly to women about the dangers of alcohol in pregnancy.
The Alcohol and Pregnancy Project at Perth’s Telethon Institute for Child Health Research today launched a range of resources to help health professionals to discuss this important issue with all women of child bearing age.
Project leader Professor Carol Bower said that simply raising the subject with women could reduce their alcohol consumption. Survey results showed that women expect their health professionals to raise this issue with them.
“Health professionals have an important role in asking all women about alcohol use and talking to them about the consequences of alcohol consumption during pregnancy” Professor Bower said.
”The most important message is that no alcohol in pregnancy is the safest choice. The amount of alcohol that is safe for the fetus has not been determined.”
“What health professionals have told us is that they need more good quality information to pass on to women, and that’s why we’ve developed these Alcohol and Pregnancy resources.”
Research by the project team found that:
- 45% of WA health professionals who care for pregnant women routinely ask them about their alcohol use
- 25% of WA health professionals who care for pregnant women routinely provide them with information on the consequences of alcohol use in pregnancy
- 79% of WA health professionals disagree that discussing alcohol use during pregnancy will frighten or anger a pregnant woman
- 98% of WA women surveyed think that sending information to doctors and health professionals would be an effective strategy to inform women about the effects of alcohol in pregnancy on the fetus.
The Alcohol and Pregnancy: Health Professionals Making a Difference packs will be sent to health professionals throughout WA during April 2007. The resources include a comprehensive booklet, fact sheet and information wallet cards for women.
The Alcohol and Pregnancy Project has been made possible by funding from Healthway and is a collaboration between the Telethon Institute for Child Health Research and Edith Cowan University.
Press release; Telethon Institute for Child Health Research