Alcohol use during pregnancy among women receiving prenatal care in Guam



Alcohol use during pregnancy may cause a baby to be born with fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD). Estimated at 1% to 5% of all births in the US, FASD can be prevented by abstaining from alcohol during pregnancy. In 2011-2013, 10.2% of pregnant women in the US reported any alcohol use; there are no prevalence data available in Guam. We measured the knowledge, attitudes and behavior around alcohol consumption during pregnancy among women receiving prenatal care in Guam, and explored their associations with socio-demographic factors to establish baseline information that will support the development of Guam's capacity to increase healthy pregnancies and birth outcomes. From March to May 2016, a cross-sectional survey was conducted among a convenient sample of women seen for prenatal care in three public health clinics in Guam. Of 236 participants, 14.3% reported to having any kind of drink containing alcohol during their pregnancy, this was highest among Chamorro women (aOR: 4.74, p=0.030), but was not associated with age, education, employment or marital status. Majority (83.8%) of women correctly identified that alcohol drinking in pregnancy is unsafe, 43.2% had heard of FASD. Correct knowledge of FASD was significantly associated with having a discussion with a health provider about the effect of smoking (aOR: 0.34, p=0.032) and depression during or after the pregnancy (aOR: 0.15, p=0.002), as well as having a positive T-ACE score for risk drinking (aOR: 0.25, p=0.007). In addition to raising awareness about the risks of alcohol use in pregnancy, screening and brief intervention for alcohol use should be conducted for all women seen in prenatal care. Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders, Alcohol, Pregnancy, Guam, Pacific Islands 1. Among women seen for prenatal care in Guam, 14.3% reported to having any kind of drink containing alcohol during their pregnancy. 2. 83.8% of women correctly identified that alcohol drinking in pregnancy is unsafe, 43.2% had heard of FASD. 3. In addition to raising awareness about the risks of alcohol use in pregnancy, screening and brief intervention for alcohol use should be conducted for all women seen in prenatal care in Guam.


Helene Le Mouellic Paulino

Department of Public Health and Social Services