Dialogue between Midwives and Parents-to-Be about Alcohol, from a Life Cycle Perspective—An Intervention Study
The objective was to investigate the use of alcohol during pregnancy among parents-to-be and to develop and evaluate a method for a dialogue about alcohol from a life cycle perspective. The study was a quasi-experiment. An intervention group (IG) with 238 couples and a comparison group (CG) with 271 couples participated. All of the participants were recruited at public antenatal care clinics (ANC) in Sweden. At registration, the midwife had a dialogue about alcohol with the IG, and the
... G, and the intervention was evaluated using questionnaires in pregnancy weeks 12 and 33. Alcohol consumption, alcoholism in the family, social support, and source of information were measured. More than 91% of all pregnant women reported that they never drank alcohol either at registration or late in pregnancy, with no difference between the intervention group and the comparison group. Their male partners had a different pattern; 6% abstained from alcohol and about half of them drank alcohol two to four times a month. Nine percent of the participants had experienced an alcohol-dependent parent and 35% of the couples reported alcoholism in either of their families. Most women (92%) stated that the partner's support to give up alcohol was important. After the intervention, more women in the IG were offered alcohol-free alternatives. About 40% of the partners had reduced their alcohol consumption; they received less social support for alcohol reduction than the pregnant women. A majority, 68%, of the women in the IG stated ANC as the most important source of information about alcohol and pregnancy, compared to 53% in the CG (p < 0.001). After the intervention, a higher proportion of women in the IG were offered alcohol-free alternatives and ANC became the most important source of information about alcohol. Involving the partner in counseling about alcohol-restriction during pregnancy may be a useful health promotion strategy.