Because even small amounts of fetal exposure to alcohol have been associated with a constellation of adverse effects, women who are pregnant are counselled to avoid all consumption of alcohol. Women who are pregnant or planning to conceive are highly motivated and often make fairly significant changes in their health behaviors; however, we have seen that abstinence in women with substance use disorders can be difficult to attain and maintain.
A recent study from Sweden indicates that pregnancy is associated with a decreased risk for alcohol use disorder (odds ratios, 0.17-0.32). Looking on an individuals with a alcohol use disorder before pregnancy, rates of alcohol use disorder substantially decreased during pregnancy (odds ratios, 0.25-0.26), and the prevalence of alcohol use disorders remained continued to be lower during the postpartum period (odds ratios, 0.23-0.31). In addition, the partners of pregnant women also exhibited reductions in alcohol use disorder (odds ratio, 0.45).
Ruta Nonacs, MD PhD
Edwards AC, Ohlsson H, Svikis DS, Sundquist J, Sundquist K, Kendler KS. Am J Psychiatry. 2018 Nov 29.