Alcohol consumption

Sudbury News: Impact of #winemom hashtag on alcohol use among mothers

A Sudbury researcher uses art to draw attention to science and research findings on alcohol use in pregnancy.

The interactive artwork is on display at Science North as part of Laurentian University’s Sci-Art exhibit.

It’s titled “It’s Mom’s Turn to Drink Wine” and shows how industry marketing and a popular social media hashtag, #winemom, can play a role.

“So thinking about, you know, is this something I want to participate in or show around? You know the saying ‘pink all day’ and those booze jokes. So what’s is that funny? And is that really something that we think as a society should be funny,” said Kelly Smithresearcher at Canadian Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) Research Network.

“Not everyone reacts to science the same way and art is a really good way to reach a variety of people and say ‘here’s an interesting concept, here’s something to think about,'” said Dr. Thomas Merritt, professor at Laurentian University.

“Sometimes as a scientist I think about things in a different way and often it’s the public who thinks about science in a different way.”

Harding has been involved in FASD research for over a decade.

“This is an interesting question I get because it’s not necessarily directly related to what a ‘wine mom’ is for FASD prevention, but part of overall FASD prevention. FASD is also thinking motherhood could be a time of change,” she said.

Harding is continuing her research on “wine mom” and said she plans to expand it to include other substances.

“How women’s alcohol use may have increased during COVID. There (are) other cultures of substance use and mothering as well. So things like ‘weed moms’ or ‘weed moms’ or ‘weed moms’ canna’ or other substances, so we’re also interested in understanding what it looks like, she says.

Harding hopes to continue sharing the exhibit at future conferences specific to FASD and public health more broadly.