For broadcast on 2CH Sydney, 2 Feb 2014.
The NSW Council of Churches supports the O’Farrell Government’s crackdown on alcohol-fuelled violence, but violent behaviour is not the only dangerous outcome of excessive consumption of alcohol.
A study by researchers at the University of Newcastle has found that more than half of women who binge drink continue to do so during pregnancy, with fewer than one in five following guidelines to abstain from alcohol.
The study found that 55 per cent of women who reported a history of binge drinking continued the practice during pregnancy, and just 16 per cent stopped drinking altogether until after the birth. Binge drinking was defined as having five or more drinks on a single occasion.
Heavy alcohol use during pregnancy is known to have detrimental effects on the unborn child, including fetal alcohol spectrum disorders. The researchers say their findings highlight the need for strategies to reduce prenatal alcohol use by addressing risky patterns of alcohol consumption prior to conception.
I’m Rod Benson for the NSW Council of Churches.