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Table 3 Questions used at the Cairns Community Conversation

From: Involving consumers and the community in the development of a diagnostic instrument for fetal alcohol spectrum disorders in Australia

Background Questions
Research indicates that health professionals have an important role to play in the prevention of prenatal alcohol exposure. Women expect health professionals to ask and advise them about alcohol during pregnancy. However, the majority of health professionals do not routinely ask pregnant women about alcohol use or provide them with information about the consequences of alcohol use in pregnancy. If you were pregnant, what would you want your health professional to say or provide to you about alcohol use and its potential harm?
Research has shown that there is confusion about ‘what are a few drinks’ and the alcohol content of various drinks. Therefore, just asking if you have consumed any alcohol during pregnancy does not provide sufficient information to health professionals. You may refer the participants to the ‘Standard Drinks’ Guides in their handouts. How would you feel answering questions about your alcohol use either during pregnancy or straight after giving birth? These questions might include:
Currently information is collected by midwives on all mothers and newborn babies. There is information on the baby such as weight, length and head circumference; labour and delivery details; and details on the mother such as age, height, marital status, ethnic origin, previous pregnancies and smoking during pregnancy. This information is recorded on the midwives’ Notification of Birth Form. a) When during the nine months of your pregnancy did you drink alcohol (months 1–3, months 4–6, months 7–9)?
b) How much alcohol did you drink at each occasion (for example 3 full strength beers, 1 glass of wine)?
c) How frequent were those occasions when you drank alcohol (for example three times a day, daily, weekly, etc.)?
You are talking to a health professional who is assessing your child who has delayed development, low IQ and/or learning difficulties. Delayed development, low IQ and/or learning difficulties in children can be caused by a range of factors. The health professional will need to ask many questions about your pregnancy, family health history and information about your child. If you had a child with delayed development or learning difficulties, how would you feel about being asked questions by the health professional about your alcohol use during pregnancy?
  Are there any other issues that should be taken into consideration or discussed in relation to alcohol and pregnancy?