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Honest Answers needed regarding pregnancy and drinking

(67 Posts)
iamwhaticallpregnant Sun 30-Dec-12 12:08:01

I have read all the information available, heard views from both sides and understand how touchy / sensitive this subject is. I am not really looking for further proof it is bad or harmless or opinions on the subject - I would just like to conduct an unofficial type survey - and the Question is this.

Did you drink during pregnancy? And when your baby arrived, were there any problems?

I am asking this because I have drunk a little during my pregnancy and as I am nearing the end I am starting to really really panic that I have affected my baby in a negative way. I have only drunk a small amount of wine - always with food. I understand that no tests have really been taken out regarding it so this is a way of just taking a straw poll. I read an article this morning saying alcohol could affect the baby's senses so they may have learning difficulties and the development of their face.

This obviously takes honesty - so thanks if you reply as I know this is not an easy issue.

Northernexile Sun 30-Dec-12 12:12:07

I drank before I knew I was pregnant (at roughly 5 weeks). Not loads, just got a little merry at a couple of concerts. I then avoided alcohol completely until I was probably about 25+ weeks (Christmas time). I then had the odd small glass of wine, not every week, and never exceeded the 'no more than two units once or twice a week' guide.

DD is 10mo and seems fine so far! I think if you exercise common sense you won't go too far wrong to be honest. A small glass of something sparkly tomorrow night will probably do you good!

SchroSawMummyRidingSantaClaus Sun 30-Dec-12 12:18:15

I drank heavily before I found out I was pg, I was actually pissed when I found out (19 at the time, going to casinos and such with friends when I had time off work).

After about 18 weeks I would sometimes have a glass or 2 in a week. DS was and is fine and at 15 months, I had him out for a walk without the pram yesterday, he can point to different colours when you ask him and different characters in books, people in photos and numbers, he is speaking a bit so he seems perfectly fine. smile

I haven't touched a drop yet this time but that's mainly because I really don't drink much since having DS.

MaMattoo Sun 30-Dec-12 12:21:33

Did not drink at all during pregnancy. Was smoking like a chimney when I found out I was pregnant. Quit cold turkey. Spending life as a saint these days wink!

WhyIRayLiotta Sun 30-Dec-12 12:30:37

I drank before I found out (at around 6 weeks) Then I didn't drink at all for the first trimester - maybe a bit longer - after that I was happy to have the odd glass of wine with dinner or as a sat night treat I'd have a wee tin of cocktail - mojhito / Cosmo etc - they had 1.5 units in so were below the limit.

It's not damaged my DD in anyway so far!

When I went to the doctor to say I was pregnant - I asked her about the fact if been drinking (I found out the day after a weekend hen party!) she was very blasé about it and said not to worry - they only ever saw alcohol related problems in babies whose mum was an alcoholic and where there was sustained heavy drinking throughout the pregnancy.

I still kept well within the NHS guidelines though.

I had an occasional 1/2 pint of guinness - once every 1-2 weeks or so - throughout both my pregnancies.

DD was identified as G&T for maths and sciences and is now at uni. DS seems to be doing fine at A levels in spite of being a lazy sod. Both had apgar scores of 10 when born and no problems.

SleighbellsRingInYourLife Sun 30-Dec-12 12:35:35

I drank (and smoked) as normal until I knew I was pregnant.

Once I knew, I stopped for first trimester (too sick not to).

After the 14-16 mark, or thereabouts, I'd have the odd glass of wine, e.g if out to dinner, or having a special meal with nice wine.

I never drank more than a glass in a week, even at Christmas, but usually it was rarer than that.

All 3 babies are fine.

I recognise the "OMG what if I did something to harm this baby" at the end of the pregnancy.

Last time I worried that maybe the glasses had been bigger than I thought grin

noblegiraffe Sun 30-Dec-12 12:36:56

Back in the day Guinness was recommended during pregnancy for the iron. There isn't a whole generation of deformed-faced children with learning difficulties out there as a result.

What the article you read is describing is foetal alcohol syndrome which is associated with high levels of alcohol consumption during pregnancy.

Most people drink alcohol, sometimes quite a lot, before they find out they're pregnant and the baby is fine.

SoYo Sun 30-Dec-12 12:37:42

Was 5 weeks when found out I was pregnant. The previous 5 weeks had included a friends wedding where I had 3 bottles of wine & slept on bathroom floor (oops) and a wine tasting trip in Italy. Not ideal ad definitely not something I'd have done if known! Then got awful morning (ha) sickness so nothing until 18 weeks. From then until now (now 31 weeks) I have an odd half glass of wine (2 some weeks, none others) and on Christmas day had half glass of wine with dinner at 2pm and small Baileys in evening at 7pm. My job is quite closely linked with pregnancy and so have read lots of scientific papers etc on subject and am happy risks of that are minuscule and along with all other risks not thought about and taken on daily basis in life that that's the right balance for me. Official advice is nothing though and I can understand why as NHS has to think what's best advice for society as a whole to cause least problems. Very personal decision for everyone and unless drinking very heavily with no regard shouldn't be judged IMO.

SoHHKB Sun 30-Dec-12 12:38:20

dd1 (planned) - no drinking while ttc then occasional half pint from second trimester onwards... No problems academically/socially smile
ds1 (unexpected blessing!) - drank shitloads before realising I was pregnant (at about 6 weeks) then occasional sips and a glass of bucks fizz on christmas day much stricter dp! wink Baby due in two weeks....

SchroSawMummyRidingSantaClaus Sun 30-Dec-12 12:39:26

Oh, should probably add as well.

My Mother was an alcoholic and drug addict (heroin, methodone, valium etc) when pg, to the point she nearly lost me. I didn't have FAS, all my health problems seem to be genetic.

Nuttyprofessor Sun 30-Dec-12 12:41:23

No never. Have three DC one super intellligent, one intelligent, one with learning difficulties.

ItsaTIARA Sun 30-Dec-12 12:41:51

I did drink a little bit in both pgs (always less than 4 units a week and 2 a day). If I knew then what I know now, (due to developing scientific research) I'd have drunk a lot less or abstained completely.

However, there is zero chance that you will have done visible, noticeable damage to your baby. It is possible that it will be very very slightly impaired over the child it would have been if you'd abstained completely, but the only way you'd ever know that is by using a time machine. Honestly, you have better things to worry about.

MedicalEd Sun 30-Dec-12 12:56:03

Really difficult subject. I've done lots of work on the various bits of research that have come out.
Its a really hard thing to study because you cannot randomly assign pregnant women to drinking alcohol or not, no matter what amounts because it isn't ethical. Animal studies have conflicting results and its hard to study animal IQ.
Latest human study showed small drop in IQ but the 'drinking' group did vary quite a lot in how much they were drinking, from one glass ever to a few drinks a week.
Anyway to answer your question I did not drink with no 1 and there are problems.
Have had odd sip so far with no 2 (am currently pregnant) but not even one unit at a time and maybe 3/4 times in whole pregnancy.
Way I see it, after having had one child with problems, is that if I had drunk I would forever wonder if that was the cause and feel horribly guilty.
It is true to say that no research has found a link between tiny amounts of alcohol, like you have drunk, and any problems later in the child.

RissaC2011 Sun 30-Dec-12 13:07:00

During my 1st pregnancy I had a single 175ml glass of white wine each week as a treat. My son is nearly 2 and is advanced for his age. I'm currently pregnant and drink approximately 2-3 small glasses of wine a week (not in 1 sitting, 1 on each day). New research suggests that it's not really about the amount you drink in total per week but rather how much you consume in a single sitting i.e. can your liver process the alcohol before it's passed to baby via the placenta. However, there isn't long term evidence to show it's 'safe' so understand why some people abstain completely. This article is interesting
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/healthnews/9341861/Small-alcoholic-drink-a-day-during-pregnancy-has-no-effect-on-baby.html

AmayaBuzzbee Sun 30-Dec-12 13:19:05

I did drink with DD, but not for the first 14 weeks or so (did not want any due to morning sickness). For the rest of the pregnancy drank the odd glass of wine (sometimes two small ones), always with dinner. Some weeks none, some weeks a glass (small) up to 3-4 times a week. DD is perfect. I wasn't counting units but obviously never drank lots at a time.

Am now on my trimester with next baby and am doing the same. Just using common sense for what feels right (for me), and I certainly have no worries what so ever (it is still small amounts all in all I am talking about).

AmayaBuzzbee Sun 30-Dec-12 13:21:32

*third trimester

ArkadyRose Sun 30-Dec-12 13:36:05

With DD3, I had the occasional glass of wine or half of beer if the Braxton Hicks were being particularly painful from about 30 weeks onwards, as alcohol relaxes the muscles & stops contractions. I'd be having a small drink about 2- times a week. DD3 is in the G&T stream at school and is head of the class for reading & writing.

It very much comes down to doing things in moderation. You'd have to be a chronic alcoholic to cause the kind of defects you've read about, but the problem is that the people out there most likely to put their unborn people at risk like that just don't grasp the concept of "moderation". So it's better to advise all women not to drink at all in pregnancy. If you're not an alcoholic though, then just use your common sense. You're not going to go out on an all-night bender - but the odd drink here or there isn't going to do any harm.

And for those who did go on benders & got right royally smashed before finding out you were pregnant - the placenta doesn't kick in until 10-12 weeks, so before then the embryo is feeding from the yolk sac and the alcohol can't cross over.

RissaC2011 Sun 30-Dec-12 13:45:21

ArkadyRose not having school-age children myself, presume G&T is an acronym for "Gifted & Talented" not "Gin n' Tonic" which is what popped into my head when I first read your post lol!

emblosion Sun 30-Dec-12 14:48:15

I had the odd glass of wine when I was pg last time, but not til after the first trimester. ds is 6 months & fine so far! This time I've prob had a bit less but because I drink less anyway!

Fetal Alcohol Syndrome really only effects children of very heavy drinkers. It's v unlikely you've caused any damage unless you've been mainlining jagerbombs/entire bottles of wine.

CareerGirl01 Sun 30-Dec-12 14:57:18

I haveI abstained from alcohol most of this year because we were TTC and I'm 42. But saying that I actually got drunk while 2 weeks pregnant - obv didn't know at the time. Had bad morning sickness so didn't drink at all until 16 weeks - since them I've had about four glasses of wine. I am now 23 weeks pregnant. To be honest I'm going to avoid it until I have DC2 as it actually doesn't make me feel too good afterwards. But that's the only reason I'm not drinking.

CordeliaChase Sun 30-Dec-12 15:07:58

I had a few drinks during pregnancy. A half of real ale , a small glass of wine. My favourite tipple was sainsburys own low alcohol cider, it has about 0.5% alcohol and is seriously yummy (I was very pregnant during the warm summer months). My two year old DS was 9lb6oz when born, and his development is perfect. He can count to ten, recognises letters A-D, colours etc etc. I also used to smoke but went cold turkey the day the POAS came up positive. A few drinks will not do any harm, everyone in moderation.

iamwhaticallpregnant Sun 30-Dec-12 15:32:07

Rissa - that is exactly what i thought g&t was.
Thanks everyone x

GrumpySod Sun 30-Dec-12 15:32:54

When I had DC1 the advice was "no more than 4 units a week" and "no more than 2 units on one day". I probably went drank right up to those limits.

With DC2 I probably had half as much, with DC3-4 half as much again.

No problems any of them.

I am more scared about the research linking alcohol to cancer.

Writehand Sun 30-Dec-12 15:42:52

I don't drink at all (long time sober alcoholic) but I do medical writing & my dad's a doctor. Several posters have said that doctors only ever see damage in babies born to really heavy drinkers and alcoholics. This is spot on. Far too much anxiety is caused by flippin' guidelines IMO.

Women used to be encouraged to drink Guinness in the recent past and, as noblegiraffe rightly said "There isn't a whole generation of deformed-faced children with learning difficulties out there as a result."

Do not worry, iamwhaticallpregnant. We medical authors would call you "pregnantandnaturallyoveranxious" smile

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