New resources for substance use in pregnancy

Image - New resources to support pregnant women who use alcohol or other drugs
Date Published:
11 May 2015

Researchers at the National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre have developed evidence-based resources to assist primary healthcare providers in supporting pregnant women who use alcohol and other drugs.

There is clear evidence that heavy and frequent use of alcohol or other drugs and associated lifestyle factors contribute to significant harm during pregnancy.

Health care professionals can make a substantial difference to the health of women and their babies by identifying and supporting women who use alcohol or other drugs during pregnancy.

The resources, consisting of a comprehensive booklet as well as a Quick Guide for identifying women at risk from alcohol, smoking or other drug use during pregnancy, are intended for a range of primary health care professionals including GPs, midwives, nurses, practice nurses, Aboriginal health care workers and sexual health workers. It is applicable to a wide range of health care settings.

In any health care setting where pregnant women are seen, they should be asked, without judgement, about their alcohol, tobacco and other drug use and provided with access to appropriate treatment and support.

Evidence shows that well-coordinated and comprehensive support with early access to antenatal care and specialist alcohol or drug treatment can reduce harm and improve outcomes for pregnant women who have problematic alcohol and drug use, and their babies.

The resources are available for download at: