Heavy Drinking Before I Knew I Was Pregnant | Is My Baby Okay?

If you were heavy drinking but you were 4 weeks from your last period. That would mean you only have conceived approximately 2 weeks before your drinking session. Your baby would be fine since it doesn’t share a blood supply with you at this point so would not be affected.

My wife drank tons before learning of her pregnancy and the abbe came out fine, and healthy. Remember, if you were 4 weeks from the period, you’re only actually 2 weeks pregnant, and “baby’s is a cell dividing like crazy and not even embedded and sharing your supply yet.

So, it is what you do now that matters.

Mums I talked to share their experiences of drinking before they knew they were pregnant:

“I drank half a bottle of vodka one night before I realized I was pregnant and other assorted drinks. I also drank smaller amounts regularly. I also smoked. I gave up when I found out I was pregnant (about 7-8 weeks gestation). I had also taken the morning after pill just before my last period. DD was fine and has never had any particular health problems. In fact, she is very intelligent and goes to a grammar school.” – Hannah

“I drank far more than you did before I was pregnant. Somebody very close to me died very suddenly and I went a bit mental. A month of serious binge drinking, smoking, and poor eating followed. My dc was born 8 months later healthy, and now many years later is bright, tall and strong.” – Jane

“When I was 4 weeks pregnant with DC1 I went out 4 nights in a row and drank at least one bottle of wine each night, plus some shots (in my defense it was Christmas party season). On the fifth day the vomiting started, I thought it was the worst hangover ever, and only after 38 hours without respite did I think to test.

I hadn’t been taking pre-natal vitamins either.

DC1 was fine. Now aged six and bright as a button. TBH it didn’t occur to me to worry as I knew I wouldn’t drink again before birth.” – Helen

“My exSIL is an alcoholic and didn’t ease up before, during, or after pregnancy. DN is absolutely fine.” – Theresa

While it is great that all these women share their experiences with their fetus, it is important to note that research has proven that excessive drinking while pregnant can cause fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS).

The diagnosis of fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS) is based on the appearance of facial abnormalities, growth problems, brain damage, and cognitive and behavioral concerns.

ALSO SEE: Just Found Out I’m 5 Weeks Pregnant and I’ve Been Drinking

I know but Should I still Keep My Foetus?

If you’re asking this then I feel this drinking question may be a smokescreen for something else to be honest, especially as you seem not to want to hear that everything will be fine.

Are you in search of a justification to ply the abortion route?

If it helps, my wife drank lots before she POAS – and by that, she spent a whole day drinking beer with relatives and friends (got through about 9 cans), then on to a bar where she had a crazy amount of vodka and rum, then home a couple of glasses of wine. In one day.

She also had been having a few wine glasses per night – big glasses. I suspected her cravings could be because she was pregnant so I had her take a test and it turned out positive.

Obviously, as soon as we found out she was pregnant (at about 2 days after her period should have been due, so 4 weeks 3 days after LMP, she quit drinking, and has only had very occasional, small glasses of wine here and there since then.

We didn’t worry about any negative effect her drinking earlier on may have had because the baby is self-contained at that point.

It’s also fair to say that based on the contributions above, a lot of women conceived in a drunken haze, and before the advent of early detection tests, plenty of women has no idea they were pregnant until missing at least one period.

There is an awful lot of scary nonsense out there about FAS, but it really is only an issue for women who drink lots on a frequent basis during pregnancy. A blowout early on is a whole different.

While my wife was pregnant, I asked her doctor about her two big drinking days before we found out, and he said that if she had done any damage at such an early stage, she would miscarry.

If FAS was such a big issue as the internet would have you believe, then why is it that our parent generation, whose mothers were told a daily consumption of Guinness would “keep their iron up”, aren’t a bunch of deformed-faced mentally disabled people?

Again, FAS becomes a worrying issue if you’re an alcoholic who continues to drink every substantial amount throughout your pregnancy.

I know my answer is not what you’re looking for. My guess is that you, for whatever reason, don’t want to keep this baby (which is perfectly fine, by the way), and are looking for a “way out” that absolves you somewhat of making the decision.

Heavy Drinking Before I Knew I Was Pregnant

Is it OK that I Drank Alcohol Before I Knew I Was Pregnant?

It is okay if the pregnancy falls within 1-4 weeks.

The Impact of Alcohol In Early Pregnancy

Sustained heavy drinking or binger drinking at any stage of pregnancy is known to potentially harm the health of an unborn baby.

However, drinking low levels of alcohol during pregnancy has not been scientifically proven to be harmful to an unborn baby.

This is why, if you had just a few drinks in the first 2-3 weeks before realizing you were pregnant, your doctor will probably tell you not to worry.

During the first trimester, a baby undergoes its first stages of growth and development, and the risk of miscarriage is at its highest. The National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) therefore recommends that you avoid all alcohol during the first 12 weeks.

Author: Dr. Janet Hicks

Dr. Janet Hicks is an addiction medicine physician trained and certified to provide comprehensive care for addiction and substance-related disorders, including the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of such health conditions. With more than 25 years of experience, Doctor Janet Hicks helps you by providing all information required to educate yourself about substance detox and recovery.

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