Aim: to examine whether the severity of different categories of stressful events is associated with continued smoking and alcohol consumption during mid-pregnancy. Also, we explored the explanation of these associations by anxiety and depressive symptoms during pregnancy. Finally, we studied whether the severity of stressful events was associated with the amount of cigarettes and alcohol used by continued users.
Method: we conducted a cross-sectional analysis using data from a population-based prospective cohort study. Pregnant women were recruited via midwifery practices throughout The Netherlands. We analyzed women who continued smoking (n = 113) or quit (n = 290), and women who continued alcohol consumption (n = 124) or quit (n = 1403) during pregnancy. Smoking, alcohol consumption, and perceived severity of stressful events were measured at 19 weeks of gestation. The State Trait Anxiety Inventory and the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale were filled out at 14 weeks of gestation. Odds ratios were calculated as association measures and indicated the relative increase for the odds of continuation of smoking and alcohol consumption for the maximum severity score compared to the minimum score.
Findings: severity of the following stressful event categories was associated with continued alcohol consumption: 'conflict with loved ones' (OR = 10.4, p
Conclusions: Our findings may be relevant for health care providers, in particular midwives and general practitioners. The impact of stressful events may be considered when advising pregnant women on smoking and alcohol consumption.