Study: Single women more likely to binge drink during pregnancy

Drinking alcohol while pregnant can cause miscarriage, stillbirth, and fetal alcohol spectrum disorders but a new study found that 11.5% of pregnant women reported drinking and almost 4% reported binge drinking in the previous 30 days.

There is no known safe level of alcohol use during pregnancy, according to federal authorities.

Among the potential side effect in a baby from their pregnant mother's drinking include birth defects that involve central nervous system impairment, behavioral disorders, and impaired intellectual development, which can lead to difficulties with school and employment.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) considered having at least one alcoholic drink in the past 30 days as drinking and binge drinking as consuming four or more drinks on at least one occasion.

Among pregnant women who binge drink, the average frequency of binge drinking in the past 30 days was 4.5 episodes, and the average number of drinks per session at 6.

Increased implementation of evidence-based community-level and clinic-level interventions, such as universal alcohol screening and brief counseling in primary and prenatal care, could decrease the prevalence of drinking during pregnancy, which might ultimately reduce the prevalence of FASDs and other adverse pregnancy and birth outcomes.

The prevalence of current drinking among pregnant women who were not married (15.2%) was nearly double that among those who were married (8.6%).

The prevalence of binge drinking among pregnant women who were not married (6.1%) was nearly triple the prevalence among those who were married (2.2%).

Researchers recommend screening and brief behavioral counseling in primary care settings for all adults, including pregnant women, to reduce unhealthy alcohol use, which includes any alcohol use by pregnant women.