The association between prenatal alcohol exposure, fetal growth and preterm birth: evidence from a systematic review and meta-analyses
- Centre for Population Health Research, Curtin Health Innovation Research Institute, Curtin University, Perth, Australia
- Correspondence to Colleen M O’Leary
Centre for Population Health Research, Curtin Health Innovation Research Institute, Curtin University, Kent St, Bentley WA 6102, Australia;
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.
Controversy surrounds the issue of alcohol and pregnancy. …