Is Pregnancy a Time of Changing Drinking and Smoking Patterns for Fathers As Well As Mothers?

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This paper describes changing smoking and drinking patterns before and during pregnancy in 313 expectant couples. Fathers were more likely to drink and smoke more heavily than mothers throughout. Before pregnancy in only 42% of couples were both partners safe drinkers and non-smokers. This increased to 50% during pregnancy. Most mothers reduced alcohol consumption during pregnancy and although about half of the fathers also changed their drinking patterns, only about a fifth decreased their consumption. Levels of paternal and maternal drinking in pregnancy were positively associated with pre-pregnancy levels. Rates and levels of both maternal and paternal smoking declined in pregnancy. There was a positive association between partners of both the prevalence and level of drinking and smoking between fanners. There was some indication that mothers were more likely to reduce smoking and drinking if their partner joined them in doing so. Risk drinking in couples was more common in those who were older and of higher social status, but smoking was more common among the younger couples of lower social status.

Related Topics

  • Behavioral Health
  • Child Welfare
  • Fathers/Partners
  • Parenting
  • Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD)
  • Medical Care
  • Smoking Cessation