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Drinking in Early Pregnancy - should I just give up on life?

(46 Posts)
bettybettydaisy Mon 22-Jul-13 19:02:03

I have never been so drunk in my LIFE as I was drunk the night that my period was officially due. It was my sister's hen night, and I was trying to keep it "reasonable" - just wine and beer. But it turned out being more like 11 glasses of wine and 2 beers over the night.

We had a few more beers (just 3, much more reasonable) the next day. I didn't drink after that, but I did realize a few days later that I was late. . . and I turned up pregnant.

Based on what the midwife says, I conceived about 2 weeks before the hen night.

Just wondering if anyone else has had A LOT to drink that late into a pregnancy. My GP says that there is a chance of foetal alcohol damage, but I have to think I am not the first person this has happened to.

PumpkinPie2013 Mon 22-Jul-13 19:09:48

Not been in this situation but some people don't find out until later that they are pg (I know someone who didn't find out until she was 11 weeks!).

Some of these people will have carried on as normal and may have drunk a lot, smoked a lot, eaten blue cheese etc and not taken folic acid and gone on to have perfectly healthy babies.

You can't undo it now so try to focus on eating well and taking the folic acid. Have you had a scan yet? How far gone are you now? X

LostMySocks Mon 22-Jul-13 19:11:31

I went to a 40th birthday 2 days before my period was due and drank a lot My midwife said this was common. I'm not worried. Due in 11 weeks and no issues with scan

PickleSarnie Mon 22-Jul-13 19:12:06

An awful lot of babies wouldn't even have been conceived had it not been for vast amounts of alcohol.

They don't share your bloodstream until 6-8weeks or something like that so it will be totally fine.

LifeIsSoDifferent Mon 22-Jul-13 19:13:20

I was about 3 weeks pregnant an I got so so drunk for a friends birthday. I mixed my drinks, done shots the lot. I had the mother of all hangovers and y DD is fine!! I asked the MW about it an she told me not to worry to much it happened to alot of people and it was a very low chance that anything with be wrong with the baby

Soontobemama Mon 22-Jul-13 19:15:14

I got completely trashed at a christmas party the day my period was due. Baby is due in 2 weeks. I'm pretty sure there is very little chance that it would have had an effect so early. My GP certainly wasn't that bothered.

soupmaker Mon 22-Jul-13 19:16:12

Oh FFS. Honestly at that stage the chances of any long term effects are minute as long as you are no longer drinking. I was on the piss for 3 weekends before discovering I was pregnant with DD and gave up as soon as I found out. I asked my MW about it as I was worried about my drinking before finding out I was expecting. She was very unfazed and just recommended not drinking anymore. DD was fine of course. Hope you find this reassuring.

Kiriwawa Mon 22-Jul-13 19:16:58

I really wouldn't stress - the embryo will only just be implanting.

And I think your GP is very silly and irresponsible to talk about FAS - it's caused by sustained heavy drinking, not one night of excess in early pregnancy.

badguider Mon 22-Jul-13 19:17:13

Four weeks from your last period your embryo would still be feeding from its own yolk sac as the placenta hasn't formed yet. Depending on the exact time of conception, it might in fact at that point not even be embedded in your uterus (in which case it's still a 'blastocyst' in other words a ball of cells).

Personally I am VERY dubious about what your GP said about foetal alcohol damage (partly as the blastocyst/embryo would still have been nowhere near even being a foetus at that point).

I drank pretty constantly from what must have been weeks 1 to 4 of pregnancy. Never getting really drunk but it was christmas so I was drinking red wine every day. I don't believe this will have adversly affected him for the reasons I mention above.

soupmaker Mon 22-Jul-13 19:17:36

My FFS was for your GP!

bettybettydaisy Mon 22-Jul-13 19:18:11

@LifeIsSoDifferent - were you 3 weeks from your last period when you got drunk, or 3 weeks from conception?

I heard it makes a difference. Basically, my midwife said that we get a 14 day "cushion" after conception, when alcohol (and almost anything else we do) really CANNOT hurt the baby.

But after those 14 days from conception, the baby is plugged in and everything can have an impact.

so if you were 3 weeks from your last period, I could see the MW saying that everything is fine. I was just so stupid, I drank beyond that point.

jennimoo Mon 22-Jul-13 19:19:18

I don't think the baby is even properly connected to you at that stage so not getting any alcohol, I can't imagine it would have any effect what so ever.

jennimoo Mon 22-Jul-13 19:22:31

Just x posted Betty...

I don't think it's exactly a 14 day cushion, depends when placenta forms / starts working and you can't know exactly when the sperm and egg met (not necessarily when you DTD) so you need to just do what you can from now.

ch1134 Mon 22-Jul-13 19:23:15

A friend's daughter had an 'invisible pregnancy' - didn't know she was pregnant until she gave birth! Every time I panic about my pregnancy I remember this girl - who ate and drank as any fun-loving 25-year-old all the way through and gave birth to a healthy baby.

Futterby Mon 22-Jul-13 19:32:38

I drunk almost every night for the six weeks before I found out I was pregnant. I'm 18 and my DP and I had just moved into a new place and our mates were around constantly. It was like one constant party. Unplanned pregnancy, and you have no idea the terror I felt when I got my BFP, knowing the amount of alcohol I'd been drinking. So far, my little boy is growing perfectly and I've had no issues on any of the scans I've had (I've had 3 and am 21+2). Just stop drinking now or drink within the recommended limits and you should be fine flowers

bettybettydaisy Mon 22-Jul-13 19:34:58

That's true, ch1134. At least I found out I was pregnant before too terribly long! Still though it scares me to think that I had such massive amounts of alcohol before I knew.

VitoCorleone Mon 22-Jul-13 19:37:19

I went to a wedding one saturday and got quite pissed, on the monday i found out i was pregnant.

Im sure it happens alot.

SlinkyB Mon 22-Jul-13 19:38:20

I could've written your OP.

I had a normal, healthy pregnancy, and my perfect baby boy is now a perfect 2.5yr old!

Don't panic, just stop drinking from now on.

BoysRule Mon 22-Jul-13 19:39:53

With both my DSs I had big nights out (more than a bottle of wine and a few crafty cigarettes) when in the first week of pregnancy and didn't know. I had fertility problems so with both I didn't have any idea I could be.

Both my DSs are fine and dandy. You really don't have anything to worry about.

MooseBeTimeForSpring Mon 22-Jul-13 19:43:00

I was 17 weeks pregnant before I found out. I'd just emigrated to Canada, so I went to many leaving parties. There were also a few celebrations on arriving here. Lots of wine and champagne.

DS is 18 months and absolutely fine.

Oodelaranana Mon 22-Jul-13 19:47:03

I drank about 10 units one night at 6 weeks pregnant and 2-3 units on several other days that week. I had had some bleeding so had no idea I could be pregnant. Like you I was initially really anxious about it and have done a fair amount of research into it. I've seen a couple of midwives who both said they'd seen so many women have similar stories and only ever seen problems with women who were chronic heavy drinkers. I looked at studies and there is some really interesting stuff pointing out that the issue is really where there is alchoholism, poor nutrition, drug use and combined factors. The standard medical advice has become really worrying for most women due to a slightly misplaced public health message. Look at this for an example: www.hawaii.edu/hivandaids/Fetal_Alcohol_Syndrome__The_Origins_Of_A_Moral_Panic.pdf

Anyway, my first scan is fine so far. I've had plenty of friends in a similar position and the babies are all fine. I'd relax and enjoy the rest of your pregnancy.

sarahleanne Mon 22-Jul-13 19:48:04


bettybettydaisy Mon 22-Jul-13 20:14:21

@ Oodelaranana, I wish it had only been 10 units for me! Some of these were rather generous servings of wine, really, so I'm probably looking more at 18 to 20 units total for the hen night, after counting the beer.

maja00 Mon 22-Jul-13 20:20:44

I think your GP is very wrong about foetal alcohol damage happening when it's still an embryo. Foetal alcohol syndrome occurs in babies whose mothers are alcoholics.

I wouldn't worry about it a moment more.

absentmindeddooooodles Mon 22-Jul-13 20:21:24

I did not find out I was pg until 21 weeks. At the time I was 20 years old and working in a club and a bar. I drank quite a lot. OK I drank lots. In my defense I had done tests, I was on the pill and docs didn't pick pregnancy up on two different visits ( another matter entireley)

But ds is fine. He's 2.4 and a crazy somewhat hyperactive little boy.

I also smoked until the day I found out so it could be worse!

I know so many people who drank heavily before they found out. All babies concerned are happy and healthy smile

Oodelaranana Mon 22-Jul-13 20:31:41

Yes but from my reading of it you'd only really be at risk if you were drinking a bottle of vodka a night, every night - so about 40units!

Sadly, I do know someone who did this throughout both her pregnancies. Her two boys are bright, nice boys now aged 18 and 14 who have won scholarships and all sorts with no problems due to the alcohol. They were brought up by their Dad as sadly their DM died from liver complications sad

Really, your one night won't have harmed your baby!

Lovemyprincess4eva Mon 22-Jul-13 21:42:41

I had been to Scotland for a wedding two days before I got my positive test and for two days I was drinking a lot!!! I don't think I have ever been that drunk. But I am now 22 weeks with a healthy growing baby girl. So try not to worry! Some people don't find out til a lot further on and the main thing is once you do know you stop then xx

Anothermrssmith Mon 22-Jul-13 21:57:40

This happened to me too,was trying to get pregnant so had all but stopped drinking. Period was late, took 4 tests which were all negative, went to America for a friends wedding with 10 friends and spent most of the time boozing - and i do mean boozing. Found out I was about 8 weeks pregnant a week after getting home. Told midwife and her reaction was you didn't know, don't drink anymore, you aren't the first and you sure as hell won't be the last. Now 14 weeks and had 2 scans and everything is perfect. It will play on my mind until the baby arrives but I'm not going to worry about it

Chilli81 Mon 22-Jul-13 22:31:00

has happened to me with both pregnancies. you'd think I'd learn! one healthy two year old
and 1 seemingly healthy ds on the

Lj8893 Mon 22-Jul-13 22:38:46

I didn't discover I was pregnant till about 6 weeks, i had a very heavy night when I must have been about 2 weeks pregnant and a fairly heavy night the night before I got my bfp! I'm 26 weeks pregnant now and all seems ok so far!

SeriousStuff Mon 22-Jul-13 22:52:12

Congratulations on your pregnancy!

And please don't worry - I was still drinking while we were trying for a baby and was abut 4 weeks gone before I found out.

From what I understand, babies who do suffer from fetal alcohol syndrome have mothers who drank heavily (and I mean really heavily) throughout pregnancy. As long as you've now stopped and are taking care of yourself (and taking folic acid) I really wouldn't worry about it.

AmandaPandtheTantrumofDoom Mon 22-Jul-13 22:54:24

If your midwife said you get a 14 day 'cushion' after conception, you understand that that is up to four weeks after your last period, not 2 don't you?

Please relax. Your GP is being hysterical and showing poor understanding of FAS.

I read on this a lot when pregnant. Basically, the studies I could find showed that drinking before the missed period was not a major issue because you don't share blood with the baby.

bettybettydaisy Mon 22-Jul-13 23:27:25

Thanks! It has just been hard not to worry. I have not really heard of anyone else having as much to drink as I did (at least 12 drinks) in a single night, right before the positive pregnancy test. That's what has me so worried, really - that I was drinking while pregnant and it was so MUCH at once. Seems impossible that no damage would result.

SlinkyB Tue 23-Jul-13 08:31:19

It is possible that there's no damage tho betty, very possible.

My night out was a hen do; I had 1/2 bottle champagne in the afternoon, drank a bottle of wine to myself on the minibus (straight from bottle - classy!) Then started on the vodka red bulls when we got to the club. Then ended the night with a couple of Jagerbombs! Does this sound a similar amount of units to you? I did my test a week later and got my bfp.

Was this pg planned? Are you happy about the news? How does your partner feel?

badguider Tue 23-Jul-13 08:49:31

Betty - you've been given LOTS of anecdotal advice and I and a few others have given you information about the status of the blastocyst/embryo at 4 weeks and its yolk sac and lack of placenta or shared blood supply and the fact that it is NOT a foetus at 4 weeks since LMP (2wks since conception) and therefore cannot have foetal alcohol syndrome, which is anyway a disorder that affects the babies of alcoholics not ordinary women who have one binge before testing positive, but you seem determined to not believe any of this and worry yourself sick.

If you are happy about this pregnancy and want to proceed you are going to have to find a way to stop worrying as you can't go through the next 8 months like this.
I don't think that any more information on this thread will help you as you seem too anxious and panicky to process new information. .. please speak to a MW (not your stupid GP) for more reassurance.

jammiedonut Tue 23-Jul-13 08:57:35

Please don't worry, one episode of binge drinking is unlikely to cause fas. Will it make you feel better to know I went on a very messy holiday where I got engaged, drank BOTTLES of wine and champagne to celebrate. Came home feeling so sick, and initially blamed it on hangover/ sunstroke, turns out I was7 weeks pregnant! The weeks before my scans were soul destroying, but as I wasn't a big drinker and the holiday was very much a one off I was told by gp not to worry. Your doctor sounds like an ass for worrying you like that!

Carolra Tue 23-Jul-13 09:11:01

If it helps, I went on my own hen do unaware that I was pregnant. About 2 weeks after conception... I'm not normally a heavy drinker either, I probably drank more over the 2 nights we were away than I have in the 2 years since. We only found out we were expecting the day after we got married... I just assumed I was late because of the wedding stress....

star15 Tue 23-Jul-13 11:02:46

I found out middle of January that I was pregnant, and panicked because I had drunk a lot a new year time, midwife told me not worry and (touch wood) so far have had a perfectly normal pregnancy. grin

Try not worry to much smile

Charliewasagoodhamster Tue 23-Jul-13 12:07:56

I had the exact same thing happen with my first pregnancy. It was my sisters hen party. My beautiful daughter is perfect. So many people will have been through the same thing. A one off that early will be fine.

Andanotherthing123 Tue 23-Jul-13 12:24:55

I don't want to set you off worrying about something else but I don't drink, don't smoke (what do I you ask?!) and both my DC have additional needs with different conditions. It was nothing I did and there was nothing I could have done to prevent it. From reading other stories on this thread, I would say you are safe to let your worry go and start enjoying being pregnant.

Oblomov Tue 23-Jul-13 18:41:07

I can't believe what twaddle your gp told you. How ill-informed. One off being pissed is not the same as fas. I was pissed on my hen, before I found out. This happens to many many women. Please don't worry.

toni1bump Tue 23-Jul-13 18:51:29

Tut! You're midwife shouldnt have said that thats awful!! Dont worry AT ALL!!

I found out when i was 8 weeks pg. In the weeks before i found out i had...

1. Home made ocktail night with the girls. Got so drunk i passed out on the bathroom floor (5 weeks pg)
2. Worked at Aintree racecourse during the.national and there was a free bar on last night for staff... I.drank my body weight in sambuca, ammaretto, wine, beer (6weeks pg)
3. Friends wedding. Drank continuously from 10am ubtill 5am the following day... Suprisingly wasnt THAT drunk (7weeks pg)
4. Countless amounts of nights out/in... Which involved a lot of drinking..

Not bragging/proud of any of this! Just saying that ALL my scans (4 of them) and checkups have been 100% perfect and no problems.. Its continuous drinking throughout lregnancy that does serious damage! As long as youve stopped now its fine. Dont let your midwife scare you!

toni1bump Tue 23-Jul-13 18:57:56

Your GP my bad xx

bettybettydaisy Tue 23-Jul-13 20:23:26

Thank you so much! I appreciate the reassurance. Will try to relax. yes, I am VERY VERY excited about the baby on the way, although it would have been so nice to have some warning....like an alarm that goes off "Ding, you are with child." But I will do the best I can from here on out, believe me.

I am glad to know that I am not alone! I had a sinking suspicion/hope that I was not the first pregnant woman to have an unfortunately timed hen night, right before the pregnancy test.

working9while5 Wed 24-Jul-13 07:14:40

I was in Amsterdam smoking and drinking after conception with my first, was TROLLEYED.

Your GP is really not being helpful here AT ALL. There's even a theory that FAS really arises from the sustained poor nutrition of alcoholic mothers. When I had lectures from the medics in my degree about this, they basically said straight out that it is basically a disease primarily suffered by addicts - even women who find out much later in their pregnancies that they are pregnant like absentminded above and have been drunk throughout are far more likely to have healthy babies. Remember if you did damage before your period was due your body would probably never have even let you know you were pregnant, just ending the pregnancy on you rbehalf.

whyno Thu 25-Jul-13 10:20:16

Your GP doesn't know what she's talking about. This happened to almost everyone I know and all medical professionals said it doesn't get to the baby at that stage.

Poor you to have encountered such a poor excuse for a GP. Definitely change doctor.

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