BY ALEXANDRA SAKELLARIOU
According to Times Now News, the research was conducted by a team of psychologists at the University of Rochester in partnership with the Collaborative Initiative on Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (DIFASD). The researchers sought out to evaluate the role and impact of expecting women’s partners in helping them avoid alcohol during pregnancy. The findings of the study were eventually published in the Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research journal.
During the study, the researchers studied 246 pregnant women living in two cities in Western Ukraine, Hindustan Times notes. All of the participants had partners, and the majority were legally married.
In the first trimester:
•The women were asked questions regarding their satisfaction in their relationship
•How often they argued with their partner
•Their partner’s drug and alcohol habits and socioeconomic status
Conversely, in their third trimester:
•The pregnant participants were asked questions relating to themselves, including their drinking habits and if they were experiencing feelings of depression.
The researchers eventually evaluated the infants six months post-birth by looking at their psychomotor development which, as Science Direct explains, refers to the changes in a child’s “cognitive, emotional, motor, and social capacities” all the way from infancy into early adolescence.
They discovered that pregnant women were more likely to consume alcohol in pregnancy if their partner was regularly using alcohol or tobacco. The more frequently their partnered consumed these products, the higher the likelihood of prenatal alcohol exposure. Similarly, the lower the woman’s satisfaction with the relationship, the more at risk she was to drink in pregnancy. The higher the rate of alcohol consumption, the poorer the infant’s psychomotor development was.
The opposite was observed in women who were at a lower risk of drinking in pregnancy. Not only did their partners exhibit lower rates of alcohol and tobacco consumption, but they also reported more satisfaction in their relationships. Even more, women who expressed feeling supported by their partners in pregnancy were less likely to experience feelings of depression.
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Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not
necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the Edmonton and area Fetal Alcohol Network Society, its stakeholders, and/or funders.