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Honest Answers needed regarding pregnancy and drinking(67 Posts)
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.
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!
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.
I haven't touched a drop yet this time but that's mainly because I really don't drink much since having DS.
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 !
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
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.
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
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.
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.
dd1 (planned) - no drinking while ttc then occasional half pint from second trimester onwards... No problems academically/socially
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! Baby due in two weeks....
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.
No never. Have three DC one super intellligent, one intelligent, one with learning difficulties.
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.
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.
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
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).
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
Rissa - that is exactly what i thought g&t was.
Thanks everyone x
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.
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"
Oh my lord Writehand! I am what i call Pregnant and paranoid about absolutely everything!
I drank a few before I knew I was pg and then a few half glasses of wine towards the end. I BF now and will often have a glass of wine in the evenings after the 'last feed' (yeah right...!). Started doing that when LO was say 10 wks old.
I found out I was pg with DD very late - into 2nd trimester, so had had a very merry Christmas and New Year before finding out. Once I did find out, I reduced it to one glass of wine, once a week, or less. She is fine, no problems whatsoever, although I definitely would not have drunk so much if I had known.
Now I am pg again but found out at 4wks. I am not planning to stop drinking entirely, I've had a couple of small Baileys, but will NOT be going on the lash tomorrow evening!
I drank half a glass of wine once or twice a week, in the second half of each pregnancy, after I'd had my 20 week scan. Always with meals. Both my children are average or slightly above average developmentally, according to the Early Years targets.
Totally agree with Whitehand - a few drinks here and there are not going to cause any problems.
Having said that, I didn't touch any alcohol (or caffeine) with DD since I was overly cautious
a bit of a sanctimonious and paranoid first time mum. I made a lot of other 'slip ups' though (eg gorging myself on soft scoop ice cream before realising it was off-limits, sleeping on my back etc) and DD was/is totally healthy. So I've realised that babies are a lot tougher than we maybe give them credit for and have been a lot more relaxed this time around: caffeine daily and alcohol (small glass of wine) weekly (on average). I wouldn't binge drink or drink daily, but I don't do those things when not pregnant anyway.
Oh and I've had over 10 scans with this one (32wks now) for various reasons and have been told every single time that I have a perfect looking little baby in there. Obviously we can't tell everything from scans, but my approach to pregnancy this time doesn't seem to have had any big physical effects at least.
I got blind drunk when about 4wks with both pregnancies. Stopped completely after I found out until about wk 14ish. Then had the occasional spritzer/ half pint of beer/ glass of champagne. Never got drunk, never had spirits,
I did, however, eat seafood, coleslaw, soft cheese, drink coffee, etc, because I didn't believe all that crap about these foods suddenly being dangerous when they'd never made me sick before.
Both children and hale and hearty.
LOL, Iamwhaticallpregnant! Babies are tougher than they look. You'll be fine.
The thing about studies on alcohol intake is that because they're based on real live women rather than lab rats it's almost impossible to discount every other factor. For example, weight, fitness, diet, housing...
My doctor said this was her issue with the research concerning smoking in pregnancy. Not that there was no risk, but she said smokers statistically tended to have far worse diets, drink more, were more likely to take drugs, even have worse housing, than non-smokers, so she wasn't convinced that the risks were due to smoking alone.
Write - the thing about the newest research is that it's rather cleverly split between people with gene A, which apparently makes foetuses vulnerable to alcohol and gene B which doesn't. If you have gene A then "moderate" drinking makes a difference, if you have gene B then it doesn't. The clever bit is that there's no reason to suppose that having gene A is in any way related to smoking, stress, junk food etc - so it strips out the confounders.
It's not cast in bronze, and there's always more work to be done, but it's pretty persuasive IMO. It is, however, an effect that, while measurable at a population level, stops a long long way short of FAS.
After I managed to stop vomiting 12 times a day at 14 weeks, I had a mad craving for beer, curry and spicy hummus.
I think I had a couple of bottles of beer a week from about 16 weeks and only 1 at a time I think. I usually drink wine but the one time I had a glass of red I fell asleep in my dinner after 2 sips. DS is 15 months and perfectly healthy.
I hate the scaremongering that goes on when you're pregnant. I get that they are "guidelines" but regardless of that, it just gives other people carte blanche to be judgey bastards about what is a personal choice.
OP, I'm sure your baby is going to be completely and utterly healthy and in no way will have had suffered any ill affects from your minimal drinking. As far as I can tell, if only drinking small amounts, no alcohol really passes through to the baby as your liver processes it before that happens. Please try not to worry and enjoy the rest of your pregnancy!
I went on a bender a couple of days before my period was due with DD1. But after that, nada because I was terribly nauseated and sick. I had a half pint of Guiness when I was about 6 months pregnant with her. Then I got awful acid reflux.
With DD2, I had a couple of glasses of wine once when I was about 4 months pregnant, but again, was vomitting a lot and then got sinusitis for months.
With DS, nothing at all until 5 months and then I had two beers for the Wimbledon final.
Well I think it's safe to say yes, I have been drinking in this pregnancy. Got suitably inebriated on Christmas Day and Boxing Day and then BFP on 27th!! Might have explained the projectile vomitting on 27th.
With DD I didn't drink at all first trimester, had an occasional half cider in the second and third and whilst I was in labour had 2 white wine spritzers as I was on a hen do! DD is perfect and quite advanced for her age (20mo) so I don't think it has done her any harm whatsoever.
Pudgy - the judgy bastards are my mother and father. Early on (16 wks) they were all for me having a wine with dinner - red wine is good for u etc.. then my dadread some article somewhere - God knows what it said - and showed my mother. Since then my life (when i have seen them) usually on special occasions or for dinner has been a nightmare. I havent been able to have even a small glass. They have been incredibly rude about it and on Christmas day i wasnt able to have a bucks fizz and mother made a rude comment and i got so frustrated i sat there with tears streaming out of my eyes. How dare they??!! It makes me so angry. Christmas day was more or less ruined and if i have a glass itis not worth the looks they give me.
Sounds trivial but my pregnancy has been hellish from the start and a small glass of wine is a life line. They have the ability to make me feel 11.
I had the odd half a lager or glass of wine in both previous pregnancies, probably half a dozen drinks over the whole pregnancy both times. Both babies born perfectly healthy at term, normal birthweight, developed perfectly normally as babies/toddlers and now doing very well in school.
In my first pregnancy I drank a reasonable amount in the first trimester before I knew I was pregnant (including when I kind of knew but hadn't done the test! If I didn't officially know then it was ok right?! ;-)). I then went off drink for most of the pregnancy but was quite happy to have a glass of wine on social occasions and indeed towards the end regained the taste and it was summer so enjoyed a glass of white wine in the sun once a week or so. My DD is 2.5 and fine.
This time, I haven't really been fancying a drink, but had a few small glasses of wine / beer in the first trimester to mask the fact I "wasn't drinking" and I have had a few glasses of champagne /wine over Xmas. Doesn't go down as well though seems to cause heartburn.
Ask your mum if she drank when she was pregnant?
My 2 are 17 and 19. The guidance in those days was little or no alcohol the first trimester then ok to drink a little. I occasionally had a couple of glasses of wine. No problems at all.
Same for all my friends - even the ones who got pissed in early pregnancy.
I got absolutely bladdered for my birthday when I was about 4 weeks pregnant with ds... I didn't know he was there! I felt terrible when I found out I was pregnant two weeks later but no harm was done.
I got married when I was 13 weeks pregnant and had a couple of glasses of prosecco then as well and he was absolutely perfect in every way (still is).
That said, I'm 12 weeks now and haven't touched a drop though, probably won't. I really don't think it's worth the risk.
I have about a glass a week or less. This week i've had a hefty glass of wine and a good glass of Champers tonight. My personal opinion is that issues would only ever arise if it was regular and sustained drinking - as in three or four glasses a night. I'm no expert but common sense should prevail here.
noblegiraffe - no she didnt touch a drop! she only ate fruit and veg and drank no alcohol whatsoever. she was and always will be overly protective.
I found out I was pregnant with ds1. on Xmas eve two days before I had been on my Xmas works do and was a mess I must have drunk a years worth in 1 night so when I found out I was pregnant I was petrified told my mw and Dr and they didn't seem to concerned. He's 3 now and thankfully happy and healthy. I also have ds2 and ds3 is due in Feb. I didn't drink at all through all 3 except on Xmas day when I had a very small glass of wine. For me I'm not a drinker anyway but I can tell you I craved cold beers through all of my pregnancies!
Most of the squawking about alcohol in pregnancy comes from misogyny, not public health concern. Moderate drinking won't do any harm and even raging alcoholics can have babies that are not affected by their alcohol consumption. The barrage of conflicting advice about what to drink/eat/do/wear while you are pregnant is very often coming from a mindset that wants women to be percieved and treated as walking incubators rather than people.
best response award goes to solidgold! here here!!!
I'm sorry SGFM, but unfortunately there is increasingly good evidence that moderate drinking can harm. Just a small amount, it's on the same kind of level as the damage done by ff, but it's not entirely caused by misogyny.
I do know where you're coming from, but unfortunately the "I am a human being, not just an incubator" fight, has to be had on its own merits - we have to grit our teeth and say "yes smoking/drinking/standing up all day in pg will do some harm to the baby once born, but the choice is mine". Just dismissing findings we don't fancy (see also nursery care for the under ones) is not honest. Better perhaps to put it in the context of the other risks, in particular the risks of poverty and lack of support.
I think the problem is what maybe moderate for one is not to another.
No drinking upto 16 weeks with both of mine.
Maybe half a cider once a month later on.
Damage by ff?
Gosh, "damage done by FF" and "nursery care for under 1s" - you're brave TIARA
With DS I got hammered with friends before I found out - at about 5 weeks I then didn't touch anything except half a glass of cava at a wedding to toast with at 24 weeks then at 38 weeks had a glass of red to relax DS is fine but always felt bad about getting so drunk.
This pregnancy I took an early test the day of a hen party just in case which was positive so made my excuses not to drink have since only had half a glass of champagne at Christmas was 28 weeks.
I think a sip is ok foetal alcohol syndrome is very sad (my mum teaches a few) but the odd glass should be ok they tend to recommend nothing as some people can't determine what is moderate.
I personally feel that I don't want to risk anything by drinking but even I am open to a few sips with food
It'satiara: No, that's bullshit. The 'differences' in development that they think are fairly likely to have been caused by moderate alcohol consumption are tiny and within the normal range.
It's also very very important to remember that a pregnant woman can do her absolute best to martyr herself to every piece of advice and obey every taboo, however fuckwitted, throughout her pregnancy and still have a baby which is born with SN or other health problems. THere are no guarantees that shit won't happen, whatever you do.
Finally one of the most common causes of problems in babies and children is inadequate maternity care due to lack of funding. But it's easier to scare and blame and bully women than to put more money into obstetrics.
We live in a risk free Safety First era. When no level of risk is deemed acceptable. Especially where children are concerned.
Drives me completely batty, too.
My SIL is an obstetrician and has only ever seen one case of FAS, born to an alcoholic who was necking bottles of vodka every week. She tells me a couple of drinks a week are fine.
I take all guidelines with a pinch of salt and a dollop of common sense.
I drank 1-2 glasses of wine when I went out to dinner throughout both pg. But I wouldn't have been out every week even. But then there was also the odd week where I might have been out more than once.
Both babies fine.
Excellent post, solidgold
Common sense and moderation here too. I went off wine while pg but enjoyed a couple of pimms and lemonades!
I drank one to three small glasses of wine a week throughout both my pregnancies, spaced out over a week and never more than one in a day. My doctor actually told meto havea glass of champagne to celebrate my 12w scan with DD1 as had had trouble with mcs before. He said the no alcohol guideline you havein the UK is because many people can't be trusted to understand what 'in moderation' means, or that people would have far too much on one night of the week i.e. Binge.
I could have gone without but chose not to.
If you are concerned about it then the advice is probably not aimed at you. The blanket advice is there for those who drink more than they should, can't/don't want to check their units etc, but it is very hard to give the message to those women without making it a blanket message. I didn't drink while pregnant, but have never drunk much anyway.
Excellent comments and completely agree most of the guidelines are to scare people that don't understand moderation or have common sense. I probably should have added my Mum is a teacher specifically for kids with learning, behaviour and social problems so sees more FASD kids - mostly because the homes they come from are of alcoholics and drug addicts and have other issues than just FASD i.e financial and abuse.
Well everyone's comments have made me feel better about how I have behaved throughout my pregnancy. I have generally been too ill to eat much or even consider drinking alcohol - but on the odd day/moment when i managed to eat and didn t feel like death I did indulge in a glass of wine (on the odd occasion 2) . I am a little bit in love with solidgold! And really appreciate all the comments. Especially those about FAS which I was terrified about.
I was on a month long bender just before I found out I was pregnant with my first (after a sig bereavement), and drank sometimes during, though not much. I had a margarita on my due date. Said child is tall, strong & rudely healthy, perfect eyesight, gorgeous, top of his year and an athlete too.
Oh my God - a margarita?? I dream of those at night! I might do the same on mydue date :-)
It was the best one I ever had, though you should have seen the looks I got at the bar! I still waited another 11 days after till he was born, whereupon I drank champagne while feeding him.
I didn't drink, eat any banned foods, swoke or have coffee etc with DC1 who has a severe brain injury due to a mismanaged labour but eerily we were told she would probably not have survived and certainly not recovered as well as she has if I hadn't been as healthy
With dc2 due in June I didn't know till 9weeks so didn't take any prenatal vitamins and I have had a couple of small glasses of mulled wine but no spirits. And I'm drinking caffeine. Hell yes.
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