Prevention of harm caused by alcohol exposure in pregnancy. Rapid review and case studies from Member States (2016)




By: Lisa Schölin
2016, vii + 43 pages
ISBN 978 92 890 5164 4

The lifelong disabilities caused by exposure to alcohol in pregnancy (known as fetal alcohol spectrum disorders), along with other negative effects of exposure to alcohol on the pregnancy, are an important public health concern. In the WHO European Region and the European Union (EU), alcohol use among women of childbearing age is common and, while many women stop drinking once they find they are pregnant, some continue. A major concern is the number of unplanned pregnancies, in which women continue to drink well into pregnancy.

Ensuring health in early life, including in utero, is a particular focus of public health policy in the Region and the EU. This report gives an overview of the literature on interventions to prevent alcohol exposure during pregnancy that target both pregnant and non-pregnant women, in line with policy documents in the EU and the Region. It reviews the literature on preventing alcohol exposure in pregnancy from studies published in the last decade, and present case studies from eight European countries, to share their experience.