The Society of Obstetricians and Gynecologists of Canada (SOGC)  has just released new clinical guidelines on alcohol use and pregnancy which can be downloaded from the SOGC web site.

The guidelines indicate that there is no safe level of alcohol consumption during pregnancy and recommend universal screening for alcohol consumption for all pregnant women and women of childbearing age.  The guidelines also suggest that harm reduction approaches are appropriate for use with women who continue to use alcohol during their pregnancy and that pregnant women should be given priority access to withdrawal management and treatment.

These consensus guidelines have been endorsed by the Association of Obstetricians and Gynecologists of Quebec; the Canadian Association of Midwives; the Canadian Association of Perinatal, Women’s Health and Neonatal Nurses (CAPWHN); the College of Family Physicians of Canada; the Federation of Medical Women of Canada; the Society of Rural Physicians of Canada; and Motherisk.

The guidelines were published in the August edition of the Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology Canada. The Society issued a media release today entitled “Women’s health experts recommend screening and recording of alcohol use before and during pregnancy to help prevent Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD)” which is also available through their web site.