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Pregnancy and alcohol consumption

Research objectives

To investigate alcohol use during pregnancy in the Eastern Cape; to formatively improve an intervention which aims to reduce Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders.

Nature of project

This project started in 2016 and is being funded by the Eastern Cape Liquor Board. Three specific projects are underway.


Project 1: Quantitative measurements of alcohol use during pregnancy are being collected from antenatal clinics two regions of the Buffalo City Municipality. Baseline indicators (prior to the commencement of the intervention) have been collected and analysed. End term indicators will be collected in 2019.

Project 2: Qualitative research on micro- and macro-level factors that promote alcohol use during pregnancy is being conducted. Interviews have been conducted with previously pregnant women who drank heavily during their pregnancy, and their partner or a close family member. Analysis is underway.

Project 3: Qualitative formative research is being conducted to improve the intervention that has been instituted in two wards of the Buffalo City Municipality. Training sessions, interviews with trainees, and mentoring sessions with alcohol consuming pregnant/newly parenting women have been recorded. Training materials have been collected. Analysis and formative feedback to the intervention personnel is underway.


Du Plessis, U (2017) Governing pregnant women: The case of alcohol consumption, Paper presented at the first Pan-African Psychology Congress, Durban, South Africa, 18-21 September 2017.

Du Plessis, U (2017) Harm Reduction Strategies in Alcohol Use and Abuse: A Critical Review of Interventions, Paper presented at the Eastern Cape Liquor Board, Provincial Liquor Industry Summit, East London, South Africa, 5-7 March 2017.


Macleod, C. I., Matebese, S., & Tsetse, N. (2019). “I drank because I wanted to deal with the frustration”: Explaining alcohol consumption during pregnancy in a low-resource setting - women’s, partners and family members’ narratives. Social Work/Maatskaplike Werk, 55(1). http://dx.doi.org/10.15270/52-2-792

Du Plessis, U, Young, C, & Macleod, CI (2017) Harm Reduction Strategies in Alcohol Use and Abuse: A Critical Review of Interventions. Grahamstown, South Africa: Critical Studies in Sexualities and Reproduction, Rhodes University, Report.


Matebese, S. (2019). Women’s narratives about alcohol use during pregnancy: A narrative-discursive study. (MA thesis, Rhodes University).

Msomi, N. N. (2019). Discursive constructions of alcohol use and pregnancy among participants in intervention aimed at reducing Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders. (MA thesis, Rhodes University).

Tsetse, N. (2019). Template ecological analysis of the narratives of partner’s and familiy member’s of women who consumed alcohol in pregnancy. (MA thesis, Rhodes University).

Last Modified: Thu, 06 Aug 2020 12:10:42 SAST