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Fetal alcohol syndrome

(39 Posts)
CocoE Sun 19-Dec-10 19:53:01

Hi,

I am 5 weeks pregnant and really worried I've damaged my child already. When I was 3 weeks I had two big drinking nights where I drank half a bottle of wine and the other night a few glasses of wine and a couple vodka shots. I am now considering terminating the pregnancy as I think that would have been a critical time in the embryo's neural development.
I'm not interested in hearing about anyone who drank and had healthy babies, because I know there's plenty of those.It does not make me feel better about it. What would make me feel better is if I couldn't find anyone who had an unhealthy child after this kind of drinking at the wrong time in the pregnancy. Does anyone out there have children with FAS or know any more about this? Everything I read on the internet makes me feel terminating the pregnancy is the best thing to do.

llareggub Sun 19-Dec-10 19:57:10

There are some very knowledgeable and helpful people on mumsnet, but I suspect that this is something that needs some real life interaction. I'd recommend chatting this through with your GP and going from there.

I know that when I was pregnant, I became quite anxious about everything, from the temperature of my bath water, to soft cheese I ate before I got pregnant and later, how long it took my DH to get home from work. Being pregnant was definitely a very anxious period in my life. I found it very helpful to chat some of these anxieties through with an expert.

Lulumaam Sun 19-Dec-10 19:57:12

if you were 3 weeks pregnant, that was one week post conception, i think, and possibly even pre implantation.

i don't think the neural development occurs so early

termination is an extreme reaction ,

i would suggest you speak to a gp as soon as and get a referral for some proper advice

there are all sorts of things that can create problems in pregnancy.

and some are preventable, and some are just bad bad luck

have you been taking folic acid and preparing oyurself for pregnancy? was it planned?

it seems like an extreme reaction to me, but that's my opinion,

you must seek a referral for unbiased and accuraet advice re FAS adn terminatkion

TmiEdward Sun 19-Dec-10 19:57:30

As far as I'm aware, FAS is most pronounced in children with alcoholic mothers with regular high alcohol comsumption.

I've taught two wonderful boys with FAS. I certainly wouldn't consider an abortion as justified for a few nights drinking. A few glasses of wine is not a lot. Please don't feel guilty.

MrsMogwai Sun 19-Dec-10 20:00:18

Sorry, but are you being serious? Fetal Alcohol Syndrome occurs when the mother drinks heavily for a significant portion of the pregnancy. A couple of big nights out would not cause your baby to have this syndrome whatsoever and there are no decent studies out there that I am aware of that would link 2 nights of drinking to any developmental difficulty.

AliBellandthe40jingles Sun 19-Dec-10 20:01:14

My understanding is like Lulumaam's - ie. that so early on the egg is not even implanted and therefore it doesn't matter if you have drunk.

I know you didn't want anecdotes, but everyone I know got really hideously drunk just a few days before finding out they were pregnant, and none of those people have had babies with FAS or indeed any other abnormalities.

I do feel for you, pregnancy is a very anxious time, but I do think that your reaction is extreme.

MakemineaGandT Sun 19-Dec-10 20:06:03

As far as I'm aware the foetus has no linked blood supply with yours until 6 weeks - therefore your baby should not have been affected in any way by the alcohol. Don't panic - just speak to your GP who will be able to reassure you

Valpollicella Sun 19-Dec-10 20:06:20

Please don't think of terminating because of the alcohol you consumed - FAS, as others have mentioned above, tends to occur when there is long term, high (and I mean HIGH) consumption of alcohol throughout the pregnancy.

Please speak to your GP or midwife for reassurance but I really would lay money of the fact you haven't done any harm through half a bottle of wine and some vodka.

TmiEdward Sun 19-Dec-10 20:10:19

It really does need high, daily drinking.
One boy was taken into care at birth because of his mother drinking - a bottle of vodka every day.

LadyBiscuit Sun 19-Dec-10 20:12:25

Well that's why you shouldn't believe what you read on the internet. You won't have harmed your baby as others have said - until the baby is relying on your blood, you won't have done it any harm. Please talk to your GP. And it's a bit silly to say that you're not interested in hearing stories where everything was okay.

Unless there's another reason you're considering terminating the pregnancy?

Louii Sun 19-Dec-10 20:12:37

Fetal Alcohol Syndrome occurs with prolonged drinking over the course of the pregnancy.

I know many many people who had been drinking before realising they were pregnant and none of them have children with FAS.

Valpollicella Sun 19-Dec-10 20:18:21

I know you don't want to hear stories where its all been ok, but I drank a glass of wine a day throughout my pg. Nothing wrong with DS

expatinscotland Sun 19-Dec-10 20:18:23

Before I knew I was pregnant with DD1, and I tested when I was maybe 3 days late, I drank so much vodka I was sick all over the bed.

I really beat myself up about that until her paed pointed out that at that point, there was absolutely no link between my blood and what wasn't even a foetus yet, but an embyo.

fallingandlaughing Sun 19-Dec-10 20:19:37

Speak to your GP, who will reassure you. Your period of drinking was before the foetus had your blood supply. It was just a ball of cells floating in your uterus.

Even if the foetus had been vulnerable to alcohol, the critical period of neural development is a bit later. I know 3 people with FAS (through work). All had alcoholic mothers, not someone who had a couple of heavy nights. I have also had a lot of other indirect experience of FASDs. None of the peole affected had difficulties caused by the pattern of drinking you describe.

Step away from google. It sounds like you are making your self really anxious, to the point of irrationality. There is a lot of crap on the internet. You can't have a perfect pregnancy, you can only do your best. You also need to consider that any child can be disabled, usually not because of anything the parents did or did not do.

Glitterybits Sun 19-Dec-10 20:26:11

At the risk of annoying you with an anecdote, I didn't get a + HPT until I was about 7 weeks pg with my DS. I was depressed with all the negative tests and decided to drown my sorrows, quite literally. Between 4 and 7 weeks I was out regularly and drank far more than you by the sounds of things. I appreciate your concern, as I felt it myself when I finally got my + the morning after another boozy do. It was Christmas at the time, which didn't help the abstinence.

My boy is now a very healthy 2.5 yr old. The small amount of alcohol will have probably caused your baby no harm whatsoever.

lucy101 Sun 19-Dec-10 20:34:32

This is a very extreme reaction and you might want to talk to your GP about the level of anxiety you are suffering from. This is not very healthy for you or the pregnancy.

As everyone posts above is right: the chances of you having hurt your baby are probably zero. A friend of mine, a doctor who works with FAS children, told me their mothers were drinking around 90 units a week.

What is more important is that you need to consider that something could go wrong with your pregnancy or your baby at any point in the pregnancy (this happened to me at 33 weeks out of the blue... and yes it is devastating)

You just do not have the power to make sure you will have a perfect baby, even if you do everything by the guidelines (which change all the time are not always based on sound science).

1Catherine1 Sun 19-Dec-10 20:45:43

I agree with all of the above. Your reaction is extreme. If you want to terminate for other reasons then so be it but to use a couple of nights drinking post-conception and pre-implantation as a reasons doesn't seem reasonable. Imagine if everyone did that, I wonder what effect that would have on our population. I imagine it would be quite significant.

sotough Sun 19-Dec-10 20:46:54

totally agree with lucy101 about not having the power to make sure you will have a perfect baby.i have not read anything about devastating consequences of a heavy night out - or even two - one week post conception. if this were the case, a substantial portion of the population would probably have health problems linked to fetal alcohol syndrome. I agree with others that it's very extreme to think of having a termination just on the off chance something might have gone wrong, without any evidence to go on at this stage.

reikizen Sun 19-Dec-10 20:49:01

Flipping heck. Tell me you are not serious! FAS is caused by SIGNIFICANT & LONG TERM drinking, not what you describe. Jesus, most pregnancies start that way, not ideal perhaps but there we go...

christmaseve Sun 19-Dec-10 20:52:07

The reason you will hear about heavy drinking before a positive pregnancy test not harming babies, is because it's true in most cases.

As all the others posters have advised talk to your GP. Good luck, whatever you decide to do, but please don't factor this into your decision.

MainlyMaynie Sun 19-Dec-10 20:54:50

Are you serious?! Where on the internet have you found info telling you terminate for a relatively small amount of drinking before implantation? There's no risk. If this is a joke, I think it's in very poor taste.

smoggii Sun 19-Dec-10 21:16:23

I did the same, was bridesmaid when i was 4 weeks but didn't know then had a bit of a post wedding party bender the following week - positive pregnancy test the following week - eek.
Spoke to my GP about it and he said that many (if not most) women drink before they find out they are pregnant and it doesn't cause an issue - in fact he said a lot of women he sees are pregnant because they got drunk lol

NeverendingStoryteller Sun 19-Dec-10 21:19:35

I have two adopted children whose birth mother was a heavy regular drinker during both pregnancies. Neither child shows signs of FAS. I think that you are worrying yourself for no reason, but do talk this over with your GP.

PocketMouse Sun 19-Dec-10 21:24:38

at 5 weeks pregnant (3 weeks post conception) the embryo will barely have had time to implant. It doesn't sound like you even had that much to drink tbh, and honestly I think you're slightly bonkers (you're allowed to be, you're pregnant, congrats grin) and you're worrying about nothing.

look here for info on in utero development

TerrysNo2 Sun 19-Dec-10 22:35:16

CocoE stop worrying NOW but do stop drinking wink grin

I know of so many women who drank before they knew, I personally was very drunk at least 6/7 times during the first 5 weeks before I found out (we weren't trying and I had a lot of work do's on). In fact, I took a PG test after 3 pints, just to "put my mind at ease" because I couldn't remember my last AF. Boy did that sber me up! grin

Please please, do not stress about this! smile

Oh - BTW, DS is now 2yo and a boy genius if you ask me, he can count to 10 and read all of The Gruffalo! grin

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