Alcohol, a toxic and addictive drug found in beer, wine, and spirits, can cause serious and lasting changes in the brain . It has a poor effect on food intake, restricts the supply of essential nutrients, and inhibits the breakdown of nutrients into usable molecules by reducing the secretion of pancreatic digestive enzymes, thereby affecting energy supply and structural maintenance . In addition, alcohol destroys the digestion, storage, utilization, and excretion of nutrients, thereby destroying the nutritional process, thereby destroying the absorption of nutrients through damaging the cells of the stomach and intestinal walls, and preventing certain nutrients from entering the blood [3, 4]. Consequently, it may lead to more absorption problems. For example, folate deficiency can alter the cells lining the small intestine, impairing the absorption of water and nutrients, including glucose, sodium, and other folates, especially in pregnant women) .
Alcohol intake during pregnancy has a negative effect on mother and fetus , including Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS), as a result, globally about 119, 000 children born every year women who consume alcohol during pregnancy will deliver a child with FAS [7, 8]. In addition, there are potential adverse health consequences, including spontaneous abortion, stillbirth, intrauterine growth retardation, low birth weight, premature delivery, and birth defects , it causes developmental delay, facial deformities, central nervous system impairment , fetal mortality , and low birth rate . Moreover, increasing energy intake by 20–50% during chronic alcohol consumption may mobilize fetal vitamin concentrations in the liver, thereby increasing vitamin A levels, leading to fetal organ deficiency .
Smoking cessation is recommended, but globally, 1 in 10 women drink alcohol during pregnancy, and 20% of them are heavy drinkers, which equates to four or more drinks at a time [7, 8]. The current trend in alcohol intake has increased from 9.2% in 2011 to 11.3% in 2018 , with the highest percentage in Europe, from 20.9% to 28.5% . In Africa, the number of pregnant women who drink alcohol ranges from 19.5% to 59% [15,16,17]. Given that 39.8% of pregnant women in Ethiopia drink alcohol.
Previous studies affirmed that low education status [6, 14, 15], having primary education , being a housewife , making local brews as a source of income , not having had complications in previous pregnancies , making local brews as a source of income , not having had complications in previous pregnancies , unplanned pregnancy , having relatives who use alcohol [6, 15], pregnancy alcohol use , and poor social support [14, 15] are positive factors for pregnant women's drinking.
Despite so little evidence indicating that the consumption of alcohol during pregnancy has taken into account the negative effects, but there is no study on the effect of alcohol during her first trimester of pregnancy to inform policy makers and program designers in Ethiopia. However, alcohol use among pregnant women as well as screening of alcohol use and provision of intervention for pregnant women has not got concern despite the rise of consumption of alcohol and its impact on the ground for all socio demographics from time to time in Ethiopia. Therefore, this study aimed to show the prevalence and associated factors of alcohol consumption during the first trimester of pregnancy among pregnant women in the Dabat district of northwestern Ethiopia.