A study looking at the partner’s role in determining the alcohol use of pregnant women has revealed that pregnant women’s use correlates with that of their partner.
Published in Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research, the study looked at the alcohol consumption of 14,822 Finnish women and their partners before and during pregnancy. The research covered a total of 21,472 pregnancies between 2009 and 2018.
In 86% of the pregnancies, the expectant mother reported having used alcohol before pregnancy, and 4.5% also during pregnancy. In 25% of the pregnancies, women reported that they had stopped drinking only after learning about their pregnancy, which means that the fetus may have been exposed to alcohol in the early stages of pregnancy. However, partners generally did not reduce their alcohol consumption before or during pregnancy.
Before pregnancy, the frequency and quantity of women’s alcohol consumption was strongly linked to partners’ alcohol use.
In women who consumed alcohol during pregnancy, their drinking was also affected by their partner’s use of alcohol, to a weaker but still significant extent.
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