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

Relax, you and your baby are fine. There is nothing to worry about.

Years ago, before the invention of home pregnancy tests and rapid lab tests, a lot of women weren’t aware of their pregnancy until many, many weeks after.

So, plenty of cases were available to study the alcohol effects in early pregnancy as soon as fetal alcohol syndrome was identified and studied.

Plus, with the use of cancer chemotherapy, concerns about damage to a fetus if the mother did not know she was pregnant led to similar studies.

The studies showed that the early (less than 6 weeks) embryo seemed to be immune to damage.

The results became known as the “all or nothing” effect.

The “all or nothing” effect means that an early embryo exposed to dangerous substances like alcohol will either experience a spontaneous abortion or no effect at all.

This makes sense since early fetal cells are “multi-potential”; the cells that are damaged are replaced by adjacent cells. For a natural example: a 50% “damage” to an embryo (embryo breaks in half) results in twins.

In the IVF lab, many times the cells will be sampled from the embryo. As the percentage of the total cells, this is significant “damage” to the whole. But voilà, the implanted fetus goes on to be a normal baby.

So, relax, guilt need not apply. Enjoy your pregnancy.

ALSO SEE: How To Spot An Alcoholic Face

Still, bothered? Here are some real-life people sharing their experiences. I hope it helps:


I and my wife found out she was pregnant a day after our arrival from our vacation in Tahiti. She was 4 weeks pregnant at that time.

During the vacation, she drank a large amount of alcohol, plus had an x-Ray of her lower back, took a Xanax for anxiety on the flight, went scuba diving, and went horseback riding.

Usually, people will tell you that these things will put the baby at risk. But, guess what, everything went perfectly fine!

She gave me a daughter 9 months after. A perfectly healthy, happy, and smiley little human.


Firstly, I’d say a happy congratulations. Your fetus is going to be fine.

Secondly, Googling pregnancy-related issues on Google isn’t the best of moves, haha.

Thirdly, relax.

Now, let me share my story with you:

I and my husband booked a holiday in the Maldives so we can take some time off to relax. It was an all It was All Inclusive and all of the resort entertainment was a hotel based at that point of the season.

I pretty much drank every day – a glass of wine, vodka, and beer. I would drink 2-3 glasses of wine with dinner and have at least another 2-3 spirits in the evening at the bar.

On top of this, I was a smoker. I’m talking around 10-15 cigars a day. The holiday ended and we came home. I had four birthdays in quick succession so there were plenty of night-outs, plus we had our duty-free cigs to smoke off and duty-free vodka to drink of.

Then my husband realized I was late; I didn’t even register the fact because I forgot. I tested and it was positive.

I immediately stopped drinking and smoking as soon as I found out. Fast forward, I had twins – a boy and a girl.

They are both bright, inquisitive, and loving and it’s never crossed my mind to check him for FAS because he has no signs of FAS.

The greatest risk comes from continuing to drink excessively even after getting a positive pregnancy test.

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

Distressed about drinking alcohol whilst unaware 5 weeks pregnant

Relax, and calm your mind. The baby at this stage takes all its nutrients from the sac before the placenta forms which doesn’t happen until later, so you shouldn’t worry!

I just found out that I am pregnant for about 6-7 weeks over the long weekend I had alcohol, (vodka and red wine) plus 2nd-time marijuana in my whole life. Is this going to affect the fetus? What is the risk?

Pregnancy less than 8 weeks old is in the “all or nothing” stage. A toxic substance will either terminate the pregnancy or do nothing.

In the case of alcohol in early pregnancy, any damage will be repaired. Very few substances will damage your pregnancy at this stage.

But continued drinking is of course not advisable.

I’m 3 weeks pregnant and I didn’t know. So, I’ve been drinking and smoking marijuana. What do I do? Abortion?

You shouldn’t abort unless you have been a blackout drunk for the past 2 months.

So unless you don’t want to keep this baby go see a doctor, stop worrying and have a great adventure in this miracle!

As of today I am exactly 6 weeks pregnant. I am worried because I only found out a week ago, yet before I knew I was drinking and smoking. Since I found out I was pregnant I have stopped. Has the damage already been done to the baby?

A pregnancy between 4-6 weeks is too early to suffer brain damage from alcohol or smoking. What likely would have happened, if you had damaged the embryo with all your heavy partying, is that the embryo would have quickly died if your body was an unsafe and basically poisonous place to implant and grow. That time is a whole bunch of really fast cell multiplication. It’s a little cell blob just 1/2 cm. 5 millimeters. Very tiny. No brain damage yet. Your son would be perfect.

I am 13 and I got 2 girls pregnant at the same time. What do I do?

Stop playing and get a real life.

What happens if You Drank Heavily Before Knowing You Were Pregnant?

Nothing as it is very unlikely that you’ve harmed your unborn child.

Foetal alcohol syndrome occurs in the offspring of women who engaged in HEAVY DRINKING throughout their pregnancy.

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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