Alcohol exposure in utero can cause a range of abnormalities in the fetus which are included under the umbrella term Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD). Identification and treatment of problem drinking prior to and during pregnancy is recognised as an effective strategy for prevention of FASD. However, only a small proportion of pregnant women who drink at problematic levels are identified and treated. There are a variety of reasons for women not to access treatment including a lack of services, attributing their problems to mental health rather than alcohol use and issues relating to their children or partner. Given the changing patterns of alcohol consumption and harm by women, attention must be paid to the way gender stereotypes influence the prevention and treatment of alcohol related problems.
NDARC, University of New South Wales