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Systematic review and meta-analysis
The association between prenatal alcohol exposure, fetal growth and preterm birth: evidence from a systematic review and meta-analyses
  1. Colleen M O'Leary
  1. Centre for Population Health Research, Curtin Health Innovation Research Institute, Curtin University, Perth, Australia
  1. Correspondence to Colleen M O’Leary
    Centre for Population Health Research, Curtin Health Innovation Research Institute, Curtin University, Kent St, Bentley WA 6102, Australia; colleen.oleary{at}curtin.edu.au

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Implications for practice and research

  • Women should be informed that a relatively low level of alcohol increases the risk of impaired fetal growth and preterm birth.

  • Health professionals should advise pregnant women that since it is difficult to estimate how much alcohol they are consuming, avoiding alcohol is best for the baby.

  • Pregnant women who drink heavily should be provided with counselling, antenatal services, and appropriate interventions in a non-judgemental and supportive environment.

  • Research examining the association between the dose and pattern of maternal drinking and fetal outcomes is needed.

Context

Controversy surrounds the issue of alcohol and pregnancy. Whether …

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