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Quantitative study—other
Alcohol consumption during pregnancy and breast feeding in Canada is prevalent and not strongly associated with mental health status
  1. Lesley Smith
  1. Oxford Brookes University, Oxford, UK
  1. Correspondence to : Dr Lesley Smith, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Oxford Brookes University, Marston Campus, Jack Straws Lane, Oxford OX3 0FL, UK; lesleysmith{at}

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Implications for practice and research

  • Healthcare practitioners need to be aware that women who stop drinking alcohol during pregnancy may resume drinking while breast feeding.

  • Breastfeeding women should be informed about the potential effect of ethanol on the baby.

  • Longitudinal studies are needed to describe the trajectory and patterns of alcohol use in women of reproductive age from preconception through pregnancy and beyond.

  • Teasing apart the correlates and determinants of different patterns of alcohol use preconception, during pregnancy and beyond would help to identify potential targets for intervention development and delivery, to improve maternal and infant health.


Women are advised to avoid consuming alcohol while pregnant or breast feeding in guidance for alcohol consumption issued by various countries. …

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  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; internally peer reviewed.