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Canadian Journal of Public Health

, Volume 104, Issue 2, pp e170–e172 | Cite as

Alcohol Use During Pregnancy in Canada: How Policy Moments Can Create Opportunities for Promoting Women’s Health

  • Nancy PooleEmail author
  • Lorraine Greaves
Commentary
  • 1 Downloads

Abstract

This article addresses the challenge of igniting action on health promotion for women in Canada with respect to alcohol use during pregnancy. We illustrate that accelerated action on health promotion for women that engages multiple levels of players, women-centred and harm-reduction frameworks and a gendered approach to understanding women’s lives can be achieved when the right policy moment occurs. We illustrate this by describing the opportunity afforded by the Olympic Games in 2010, where the BC government used the Games to encourage action on women’s health promotion and the prevention of alcohol use in pregnancy. We suggest that the 2011 announcement of new low-risk drinking guidelines that recommend lower intake of alcohol for women than for men offers another, to date unused, opportunity.

Key Words

Alcohol consumption pregnancy public health gender lens 

Résumé

Il est difficile de déclencher des actions de promotion de la santé des femmes au Canada en ce qui a trait à la consommation d’alcool pendant la grossesse. Nous montrons que lorsque le moment s’y prête, on peut accélérer la promotion de la santé des femmes en mobilisant les acteurs de plusieurs niveaux, en utilisant des cadres axés sur les femmes et des cadres de réduction des méfaits, et en essayant de comprendre la vie des femmes selon une démarche sexospécifique. Nous illustrons notre propos en décrivant les possibilités offertes par les Jeux olympiques de 2010; le gouvernement de la Colombie-Britannique s’était alors servi des Jeux pour favoriser la promotion de la santé des femmes et la prévention de la consommation d’alcool pendant la grossesse. Nous sommes d’avis que l’annonce, en 2011, de nouvelles directives de consommation à faible risque recommandant une plus faible consommation d’alcool pour les femmes que pour les hommes constitue une autre occasion à saisir, inexploitée jusqu’à maintenant.

Mots Clés

consommation d’alcool grossesse santé publique optique sexospécifique 

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Copyright information

© The Canadian Public Health Association 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.British Columbia Centre of Excellence for Women’s HealthVancouverCanada

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