Exposure to alcohol prenatally can result in a child being diagnosed with fetal alcohol spectrum disorder. Affected infants experience lifelong impairments that can involve, physical, cognitive, behavioural and emotional difficulties that impact on their functional capacity. Effective prevention of fetal alcohol spectrum disorder is critically needed in Australia. Reduction in the prevalence of this disorder will only be possible if we prevent alcohol consumption during pregnancy.
This paper provides an overview of fetal alcohol spectrum disorder and discusses the role of caseload midwifery as part of a multi-level prevention approach.
Drawing on previous research, caseload midwifery has potential to support the prevention of fetal alcohol spectrum disorder through continuity of care.
Prevention of fetal alcohol spectrum disorder will be more likely if women experience a supportive relationship with a known midwife, who has received appropriate training and can enable women to feel comfortable in discussing and addressing alcohol use.
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Published online: March 27, 2018
Accepted: March 14, 2018
Received in revised form: February 2, 2018
Received: September 22, 2017
© 2018 Australian College of Midwives. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.