Partners play a key role in the alcohol consumption of pregnant women and in the development of babies

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A new study by a team of psychologists at the University of Rochester and other researchers in the Collaborative Initiative on Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (CIFASD) finds that couples of expectant mothers can directly influence the likelihood that a pregnant woman drinking alcohol and feeling depressed, affects the development of her babies.

The study, which appeared in Alcoholism: clinical and experimental research, highlights the importance of involving partners in intervention and prevention efforts to help pregnant women avoid drinking . Prenatal exposure to alcohol in a baby carries the risk of potential lifelong problems, including premature birth, delayed infant development, and (FASD).

“The findings highlight how many factors influence alcohol consumption during pregnancy,” says lead author Carson Kautz-Turnbull, a third-year student at the Rochester Department of Psychology, whose interests are intervention work. FASD and reach underserved populations, including racial minorities, rural populations, and low-income groups. “The more we learn about these factors, the more we can reduce the stigma surrounding alcohol during pregnancy and help ourselves in a more powerful and meaningful way,” says Kautz-Turnbull.

The team followed 246 pregnant women at two locations in western Ukraine over time as part of CIFASD, an international consortium of researchers that researchers from Mt. They are members of the Hope Family Center, funded by the NIH’s National Institute on Alcoholism and Alcoholism.

The team found that increased alcohol and tobacco use by partners, as well as lower satisfaction of pregnant women, increased the likelihood of prenatal exposure to their babies ’alcohol. In contrast, women who felt supported by their partners reported lower rates of depressive symptoms and were less likely to drink during pregnancy.

All study participants had a partner; most were married. In their first trimesters, women reported on the satisfaction of their relationship, including the frequency of fights, happiness with the relationship and ease of talking to their partners, substance use by their partners, and the their socioeconomic status. In the third trimester, participants were surveyed about their own consumption habits and depressive symptoms. Subsequently, the researchers assessed the mental and psychomotor development of the babies around six months.

According to the team’s analysis, depressive symptoms and alcohol consumption of pregnant women were directly related to their relationships with their partners and to their partners ’substance use. (The researchers asked only about alcohol and tobacco use.) The couple’s positive influences led to lower alcohol consumption by women at the end of pregnancy and fewer depressive symptoms. The results were applied even when socioeconomic status, which is generally related to depression and alcohol, was taken into account. Increased exposure to prenatal alcohol resulted in poorer mental and psychomotor development in infants, although a mother’s prenatal depression did not affect babies in the same way she drank.

That’s why maternal health and pregnancy interventions are likely to be more effective when couples are included, with benefits for both mothers and babies, the team concludes. Interventions aimed at substance use by partners can help reduce them Substance use also improves the satisfaction of their relationships, protects against depression, and increases child development.

In addition to Kautz-Turnbull, the study was co-authored by Christie Petrenko and Elizabeth Handley of Rochester, Claire Coles and Julie Kable of Emory University, Wladimir Wertelecki of the University of South Alabama, Lyubov Yevtushok of the Omni-Net Centers in Ukraine , Natalya Zymak-Zakutnya of the OMNI- Net for Children International Charitable Fund in Ukraine, Christina Chambers of the University of California, San Diego and CIFASD.


Alcohol consumption during pregnancy related to depression of offspring


More information:
Carson Kautz – Turnbull et al, influence of the couple as a factor in maternal alcohol consumption and depressive symptoms, and maternal effects on child neurodevelopmental outcomes, Alcoholism: clinical and experimental research (2021). DOI: 10.1111 / acer.14612

Citation: Partners play a key role in alcohol consumption and baby development of pregnant women (2021, June 2), retrieved June 2, 2021 at https://medicalxpress.com/news/2021-06 -partners-pivotal-role-pregnant-women.html

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