Evid Based Nurs doi:10.1136/eb-2012-101005
  • Midwifery
  • Cohort study

Women who drink heavily during pregnancy have increased stillbirth risk

  1. Robert J Sokol2
  1. 1College of Nursing, Wayne State University, Detroit, MI, USA
  2. 2Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Wayne State University, Detroit, Michigan, USA
  1. Correspondence to : Robert J Sokol
    Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Wayne State University, 275 E. Hancock, Detroit, MI 48201, USA;  rsokol{at}

Commentary on: O'Leary C, Jacoby P, D'Antoine H, et al. Heavy prenatal alcohol exposure and increased risk of stillbirth. BJOG 2012;119:945–52.

Implications for practice and research

  • Identification of fetal risk alcohol exposure has proven difficult. It is important to understand differential risk factors.

  • In practice, it is worthwhile to put systems in place to screen for risky drinking both before and during pregnancy as a prelude to intervention to reduce embryonic/fetal alcohol exposure.

  • Future research should focus on confirming the alcohol-related risks for stillbirth and identifying interventions that will decrease prenatal alcohol exposure and are effective across diverse populations (ie, work across multiple practice settings).


The context of this study is particularly important because this article relates to long-held concerns about the effect of maternal alcohol use during pregnancy and significant health disparities between Aboriginal and non-aboriginal women and children in Australia. Stillbirth has been identified as an adverse …

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