Maternal alcohol and tobacco use during pregnancy

  • Moira Plant
Part of the Midwifery Practice book series (MIPRA)


For centuries alcohol has been recommended for medicinal purposes by midwives, doctors and other health professionals. Indeed until quite recently alcohol was used in some places to treat premature labour (Lele 1982). To confuse the issue even more, it was also used to induce mid-trimester abortion (Gomel & Carpenter 1973). The scientific literature may be sparse but old wives’ tales are numerous on this subject. The notion that the cure for unwanted pregnancy is ‘a bottle of gin and a hot bath’ is still heard in some areas. This prescription is more likely to cause acute alcohol poisoning, even death.


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Suggested Further Reading

  1. Kalant O J (ed) 1930 Alcohol and drug problems in women. Plenum Press, New York, LondonGoogle Scholar
  2. Plant M L 1987 Women, drinking and pregnancy. Tavistock Publications,LondonGoogle Scholar
  3. Rosett H L, Weiner L, 1984 Alcohol and the fetus. Oxford University Press,New YorkGoogle Scholar
  4. Wilsnack S C, Beckman L J 1984 Alcohol problems in women. Guildford Press, New YorkGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Moira Plant 1990

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  • Moira Plant

There are no affiliations available

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