Social Influences on Drinking During Pregnancy

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The influence of social networks on the drinking practices of pregnant women was examined. Pregnant women (n = 153) were classified according to whether they were heavy or light drinkers just before pregnancy and whether they reduced their alcohol risk status after pregnancy recognition. Failure to reduce alcohol risk status following pregnancy recognition among initially heavy drinkers was associated with reporting drinking as a social activity and difficulty in resisting social pressure to drink. There was also evidence that failure to reduce drinking was associated with greater approval for drinking during pregnancy and more frequent serving of alcohol among the social network. Findings suggest that interventions designed to reduce drinking among pregnant women help them to find alternative social activities and to develop strategies for resisting pressure to drink.

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