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Year : 2022  |  Volume : 31  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 174-181

Prenatal Alcohol Intake and Knowledge of its Effect: A Survey of Pregnant Women Attending a General Hospital in South East, Nigeria

1 Department of Nursing Sciences, University of Nigeria, Enugu Campus, Enugu, Nigeria
2 82 Division Military Hospital Enugu, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
Adaobi Lilian Obiekwu
Department of Nursing Sciences, University of Nigeria, Enugu Campus, Enugu
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/NJM.NJM_151_21

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Background: Alcohol consumption during pregnancy is a major public health concern due to its noxious effect on both the mother and fetus. Aim: The study aim was to determine the prevalence of prenatal alcohol intake, knowledge of its effects, and associated factors among pregnant women attending antenatal clinic, Poly General Hospital, Enugu. Materials and Methods: A descriptive cross-sectional survey was adopted and simple random sampling was employed to select 248 pregnant women from the total population. Data were obtained using structured questionnaires, summarized using descriptive statistics, and presented in tables. Statistical analysis for associations between level of educational attainment, occupation of the pregnant woman, and knowledge of the effects of alcohol consumption was performed using Chi-square tests. Results: The prevalence of alcohol use during pregnancy was 40.3% with beer (48.8%) and palm wine (48.8%) being the major alcoholic beverages taken. Majority (59.7%) of the participants had good knowledge of the effects of alcohol consumption in pregnancy while less than half (33.9%) had good knowledge of the effect on the unborn baby. Previous drinking habits before pregnancy (3.48 ± 0.84) and unwanted pregnancy (3.17 ± 0.93) were the major perceived factor influencing their alcohol intake. Educational level was not significantly related to knowledge of alcohol effects on pregnancy. Conclusion: Regardless of the knowledge of the harmful effect of alcohol on the fetus and maternal health, a significant proportion of mothers continue to consume alcohol during pregnancy. Therefore, there is a need for widespread education of women of childbearing age focused on driving behavioural change with regards to alcohol intake in pregnancy.

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