Promoting alcohol abstinence among pregnant women: Potential social change strategies

Sameer Deshpande, Michael Basil, Lynn Basford, Karran Thorpe, Noella Piquette-Tomei, Judith Droessler, Kelly Cardwell, Robert J. Williams, Alexandre Bureau

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Disorder (FASD) is one of the most preventable sources of developmental abnormalities, and has a singular cause-alcohol consumption during pregnancy. Estimates for the costs of treatment of a single case of FASD range often above one million dollars. The primary strategy for prevention currently centers on no alcohol consumption during pregnancy. However, a sizeable number of North American women currently drink during pregnancy. A literature review examined the behavior of maternal alcohol consumption in order to understand the rationale associated with drinking. Generally, it appears that pregnant women differ by their alcohol consumption habits and their reasons to drink. In an attempt to eliminate FASD, we review a number of educational, legal, and community-based programs that have been used to promote abstinence and examine where they have been successful. Unfortunately, social marketing strategies have received less attention. Several potential applications of social marketing directed to drinkingduring- pregnancy campaigns are suggested, and possible contributions to the overall effort are explained.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)45-67
Number of pages23
JournalHealth Marketing Quarterly
Issue number2
StatePublished - Nov 28 2006
Externally publishedYes


  • Alcohol
  • Alcohol abstinence
  • Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Disorder prevention
  • Pregnant women
  • Social change strategies
  • Social marketing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Professions(all)
  • Marketing


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