Official Account

The subject of alcohol and pregnancy is popular in the media, with frequent reports of studies that suggest there are safe amounts. That is at odds with guidelines from most major medical associations and governments. In this instalment of our Clinical Realities series, we asked 895 physicians and nurses from the U.S.and Canada what they actually do in their day-to-day practice. Here are the highlights: • Nearly a quarter of physicians tell patients they can safely consume an occasional glass of wine during pregnancy, with 15% of nurses agreeing. • 60% of respondents didn’t think patients had adequate information on alcohol consumption in pregnancy, while 38% thought healthcare professionals lacked adequate information on the subject. • 56% of respondents did not feel that their education adequately prepared them to address fetal alcohol spectrum disorders with patients. • And fully 70% of respondents said they were less likely to discuss drinking habits during pregnancy with patients of higher socioeconomic status. What is your clinical experience with this issue? And how do you incorporate guidelines into your practice?