Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item:
Scopus Web of Science® Altmetric
Type: Journal article
Title: "My midwife said that having a glass of red wine was actually better for the baby": a focus group study of women and their partner's knowledge and experiences relating to alcohol consumption in pregnancy
Author: Crawford-Williams, F.
Steen, M.
Esterman, A.
Fielder, A.
Mikocka-Walus, A.
Citation: BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth, 2015; 15(1):79-1-79-11
Publisher: BioMed Central
Issue Date: 2015
ISSN: 1471-2393
Statement of
Fiona Crawford-Williams, Mary Steen, Adrian Esterman, Andrea Fielder and Antonina Mikocka-Walus
Abstract: BACKGROUND: While it is well established that alcohol can cross the placenta to the foetus and can affect an infant's development, many women continue to drink during pregnancy. For this reason it is important to determine what information is being provided, what information may be missing, and the preferred sources of information on this issue. In order to improve prevention strategies, we sought to understand the knowledge and experiences of pregnant women and their partners regarding the effects of alcohol consumption during pregnancy. METHODS: The current study utilised a qualitative study design in order to gain insight into the views and experiences of pregnant women, newly delivered mothers and their partners. Focus groups examined the participant's knowledge about the effects of alcohol consumption during pregnancy, the sources of information on this issue, and the psycho-social influences on their drinking behaviour. Five focus groups were conducted involving a total of 21 participants (17 female). A six-stage thematic analysis framework was used to analyse all focus group discussions in a systematic way. RESULTS: Seven major themes were identified from the focus group data: 1) knowledge of Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders; 2) message content and sources; 3) healthcare system; 4) society and culture; 5) partner role; 6) evaluation of risk; and 7) motivation. The findings indicated that although the majority of participants knew not to drink alcohol in pregnancy they had limited information on the specific harmful effects. In addition, routine enquiry and the provision of information by health care professionals were seen as lacking. CONCLUSIONS: The findings of this research provide important insights in to the relationship between pregnant women, their partners, and their healthcare providers. Several recommendations can be made on the basis of these findings. Firstly, public health messages and educational materials need to provide clear and consistent information about the effects of alcohol consumption on the developing baby. Additionally, more thorough and consistent routine enquiry for alcohol consumption in pregnant women needs to occur. Finally, it is important to ensure ongoing education for health professionals on the issue of alcohol consumption during pregnancy.
Keywords: Pregnancy; Alcohol; Foetal alcohol spectrum disorders; Health education
Rights: © 2015 Crawford-Williams et al.; licensee BioMed Central. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly credited. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver ( applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.
DOI: 10.1186/s12884-015-0506-3
Published version:
Appears in Collections:Aurora harvest 3
Psychology publications

Files in This Item:
File Description SizeFormat 
hdl_97503.pdfPublished version656.04 kBAdobe PDFView/Open

Items in DSpace are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.