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The voice of non-pregnant women on alcohol consumption during pregnancy: a focus group study among women in Sweden
Linkoping Univ, Dept Med & Hlth Sci, Div Community Med, SE-58183 Linkoping, Sweden..
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Women's and Children's Health, International Maternal and Child Health (IMCH). Malardalen Univ, Sch Hlth Care & Social Welf, SE-72123 Vasteras, Sweden..
Linkoping Univ, Dept Med & Hlth Sci, Div Nursing, SE-58185 Linkoping, Sweden..
2015 (English)In: BMC Public Health, ISSN 1471-2458, E-ISSN 1471-2458, Vol. 15, 1193Article in journal (Refereed) PublishedText
Abstract [en]

Background: Consensus is that fetal exposure to alcohol is harmful. Abstinence while trying to conceive and throughout pregnancy is recommended. Despite this, there are many women who consume alcohol around conception and until pregnancy recognition. The aim of this study was to explore the voice of non-pregnant women concerning alcohol consumption and its relation to pregnancy. Methods: Data were collected through seven focus groups interviews with 34 women of fertile age, who were neither pregnant nor mothers. Semi-structured interviews were undertaken, recorded and transcribed verbatim and then analysed using thematic analysis. Results: Three main themes were identified in the analysis: an issue that cannot be ignored; awareness and uncertainty concerning alcohol and pregnancy; and transition to parenthood. Alcohol was an integral part of the women's lives. A societal expectation to drink alcohol was prevalent and the women used different strategies to handle this expectation. Most women agreed not to drink alcohol during pregnancy although their knowledge on the specific consequences was scanty and they expressed a need for more information. Most of the participants found drinking alcohol during pregnancy to be irresponsible and saw pregnancy as a start of a new way of life. Conclusions: Social expectations concerning women's alcohol use change with pregnancy when women are suddenly expected to abstain. Although most study participants shared an opinion for zero tolerance during pregnancy, their knowledge regarding consequences of drinking during pregnancy were sparse. In order for prospective mothers to make informed choices, there is a need for public health initiatives providing information on the relationship between alcohol consumption and reproduction.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. Vol. 15, 1193
Keyword [en]
Alcohol consumption, Pregnancy, Fertile age, Pregnancy planning, Health education, Focus group
National Category
Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Medicine Nutrition and Dietetics
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-270962DOI: 10.1186/s12889-015-2519-2ISI: 000365477300002PubMedID: 26621365OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-270962DiVA: diva2:890847
Available from: 2016-01-05 Created: 2016-01-05 Last updated: 2016-01-05Bibliographically approved

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