Headlines, research and prevention: Do research findings on risks of alcohol use during pregnancy improve prevention efforts?

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When you sign up for online alerts regarding new FASD research, a lot of research articles come your way. Some offer hope like the recent article on a possible future treatment for newborns diagnosed with FASD (see Common drugs reverse signs of fetal alcohol syndrome in rats). But most are headlines about newly identified risks associated with alcohol-exposed pregnancies.

For instance, these four recent headlines:

Drinking alcohol during pregnancy could have transgenerational effects

Prenatal exposure to alcohol increases likelihood of addiction later in life

Any alcohol consumption during pregnancy affects craniofacial development

Foetus absorbs mother’s alcohol and nicotine intake in just 2 hours

From a scientific research standpoint, it’s important to fully understand effects of alcohol -exposed pregnancies. But, from a prevention point of view, does it add anything to our efforts to know one more reason drinking alcohol during pregnancy is risky? Does it lessen the stigma these women face? Would one more identified risk be the thing a woman needed to hear in order to stop drinking in her pregnancy or while trying to become pregnant?

Obviously, the full picture of effects is important, and this kind of medical and scientific research should continue. At the same time, it would be helpful to see more headlines on what has been discovered around prevention – focusing on programs that support the mother child dyad, efforts to reduce stigma, and implementation of trauma-informed and FASD-informed practices and policies.

How about five headlines like these?

Relational treatment programs reduce risk of alcohol-exposed pregnancies and FASD

Connection to culture is key to prevention for many women

Changes in alcohol policy contribute to reduction of violence against women and incidence of alcohol-exposed pregnancies

Secure housing contributes to reduction in alcohol-exposed pregnancies

Women who can safely discuss alcohol with their health provider are  more likely to stop risky drinking

This real headline deserves more coverage: If we want to save lives, control alcohol. ”

We have lots of information of the risks of alcohol-exposed pregnancies. The work now is about prevention and we will work to bring you those “headlines.”


For more information on these topics, see these previous posts:

REACHING AND ENGAGING WOMEN: WHAT WORKS AND WHAT’S NEEDED MAY 15, 2017

THUNDER BAY’S FAMILY HEALTH PROGRAM PUBLISHES RESEARCH REPORT FOR PREVENTING ALCOHOL-EXPOSED PREGNANCY OCTOBER 4, 2016>

THE WORK OF THE NETWORK ACTION TEAM ON FASD PREVENTION FROM A WOMEN’S HEALTH DETERMINANTS PERSPECTIVE (CANFASD RESEARCH NETWORK) APRIL 11, 2016

FASD ISSUE PAPERS FROM THE CANADA FASD RESEARCH NETWORK PROVIDE A QUICK OVERVIEW OF RECENT RESEARCH DECEMBER 1, 2014

SUPPORTING PREGNANT WOMEN WHO USE ALCOHOL OR OTHER DRUGS: A GUIDE FOR PRIMARY HEALTH CARE PROFESSIONALS MAY 15, 2016

FREE WEBINAR: UPDATED RESOURCES ON WOMEN AND ALCOHOL: APPLYING RESEARCH TO PRACTICE – MAY 8, 2014 APRIL 21, 2014

FASD PREVENTION RESEARCH AND KNOWLEDGE TRANSLATION: DEVELOPING A PAN-CANADIAN AGENDA WORKSHOP JANUARY 29, 2014

FASD INFORMED PRACTICE FOR COMMUNITY BASED PROGRAMS MARCH 27, 2014

RESEARCH MAKES LINKS BETWEEN GENDER, ETHNICITY, CHILDHOOD ABUSE AND ALCOHOL USE APRIL 2, 2013

TRAUMA MATTERS: GUIDELINES FOR TRAUMA‐INFORMED PRACTICES IN WOMEN’S SUBSTANCE USE SERVICES APRIL 17, 2013

Retrieved from: https://fasdprevention.wordpress.com/2017/08/07/headlines-research-and-prevention-do-research-findings-on-risks-of-alcohol-use-during-pregnancy-improve-prevention-efforts/

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