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Drinking heavily in early pregnancy

(26 Posts)
Marcie123 Tue 11-Mar-14 06:36:10

Hello I am new to this site and would really appreciate some advice or comments from people who may have been in my situation

I am 37 years old and just found out I am 6 weeks pregnant. It was completely unplanned and I am petrified I have caused damage to my unborn child by drinking.

As soon as I found out I stopped immediately but up to week 6 I was drinking 3 to 4 times a week having 3 pints of lager a couple of times a week and vodka/lager at weekends. I hate to imagine the number of units I have drunk especially at weekend. ( I know this is a lot and I don't normally drink this much but have been going through a bad time)

I would never have drunk at all if I knew I was pregnant and I am angry with my self for not testing sooner but I have irregular periods and was having pains so I assumed the period was coming.

I feel sick with worry as I have read do much about brian damagee from drinking etc

I would really appreciate any comments/ advice

Thank you

Nojustalurker Tue 11-Mar-14 06:39:25

I have no medical advice or children but I know of people who have done similar and their children have no medical problems and are above average at school.

Go see your Gp/ midwife for advice.

AnythingNotEverything Tue 11-Mar-14 06:41:13


Now, stop worrying. The damage from alcohol intake is caused by regular abuse of alcohol throughout pregnancy.

The baby isn't even properly sharing your blood supply yet. Talk to your midwife at your booking appointment, but honestly, you aren't the first or the last women to have done this!

Marcie123 Tue 11-Mar-14 07:09:21

Thank you I have just read so many frightening things about damage done in the first few weeks that is irreversible and I am so angry with myself. The past two weeks have been my heaviest of drinking and if I had tested earlier then I could have save my baby from the last 2 weeks of drinking which is probably when any damage would have been done as I guess it is not too bad to drink before your missed period

I just hope I am ok I will book an appt

Evie2014 Tue 11-Mar-14 07:16:00

Step away from Google. Look up other threads on here. You will see it is fine. Baby not sharing your blood supply yet. Nourished by its own sac. Stop worrying. Congratulations!

StarsInTheNightSky Tue 11-Mar-14 07:29:20

Congratulations and as other have said, stop worrying. I drank a heck of a lot in early pregnancy as we were away on a long tropical holiday, and although I tested before we went I got what I now know was a false negative. I was horrified when we got back and I found out I was pregnant, but everything was absolutely fine. I did just about everything you shouldn't do when pregnant on the holiday (except drugs and smoking) and all was still well.
Talk to your midwife or GP for reassurance, and see if they'll do you an early scan, they did for me and it really helped ease my worry.

Marcie123 Tue 11-Mar-14 07:47:31

Thank you for all your comments

I will call the doctor today and speak to him see what I can arrange

I can't stop worrying though as just realised I am half way through my first trimester (over 6 weeks) and only just stopped drinking! The Internet doesn't help though so many scare stories so thank you for giving me some perspective

Writerwannabe83 Tue 11-Mar-14 08:10:56

My friend didn't find out she was pregnant until she was 14 weeks and during that time she'd been out most weekends and also been incredibly, incredibly drunk at my wedding!!

She was worried like you are but the GP was really reassuring and said that for the first 9 weeks of pregnancy the baby doesn't even share the same blood supply as the mother so the chance of there being any harm was very unlikely.

She gave birth to a little girl 3 months ago who was perfectly healthy smile

Pregnantagain7 Tue 11-Mar-14 08:15:07

Hi Marcie congratulations! I really wouldn't worry I know it's easier said than done but this happens to so many women.With my last two children I conceived just before Xmas and didn't find out til the new year and I had drank quite heavily over Xmas and new year.

Although you are six weeks pregnant that doesn't actually mean the baby has been in there for 6 weeks.Its six weeks from your last period.As others have said speak to the midwife at your booking visit but I'm sure she will say not to worry that's what mine said.

By the way should have said both my children turned out fine! Slightly crazy sometimes other that completely normal! Good luck and try to relax smile

ToriaPumpkin Tue 11-Mar-14 08:51:19

A few days before my BFP with this pregnancy I put away two bottles of wine celebrating someone else's pregnancy! As everyone else has said, at six weeks the baby has barely implanted and isn't yet sharing your blood supply so nothing will have made it to them.

Years ago I taught a child with FAS and looked up the data. You have to drink a lot, continually to do any real harm. A few nights out in the first trimester are realty unlikely to cause any problems (other than a killer hangover if you get morning sickness as well)

Congratulations! :-)

KatAndKit Tue 11-Mar-14 08:56:58

That level of drinking is not massive anyway. So long as you stop now I wouldn't worry. At 6 weeks the placenta isn't fully formed yet and the baby is surviving from its yolk sac. Think of all the babies born in september 9 months after the Xmas and new year season! As far as I know there is no research that suggests that fetal alcohol syndrome is more prevalent in September borns.

panicmechanic Tue 11-Mar-14 09:16:12

Don't worry I did the same in my last pregnancy you will be fine. My 3 year old is great and you don't share the same blood supply for the first 8/9 weeks

stinkingbishop Tue 11-Mar-14 09:27:04

I completely understand your panic, but please don't. As other posters have said, the placenta hasn't kicked in yet, so they're not sharing your blood. They're like a tiny chick in an egg at the moment!

I didn't know for FOUR MONTHS (yep, doh!) during which time I was, among other things, backpacking round South America, downing the equivalent of Lake Titicaca in Pisco Sours, raw fish, guinea pig, home brew beer with flies buzzing round the surface, smoking, climbing to 5km in the sky, diving, coca tea...not to mention malaria and altitude pills, yellow fever vaccine etc etc.

I - and my doctors - were pretty stressed for the remaining 5 months, but I have two wonderfully healthy twins. So whilst I wouldn't recommend any of the above activity by any stretch of the imagination, please do relax. Mother Nature is very efficient. And I'm sure you will be sensible henceforward!

squizita Tue 11-Mar-14 09:29:51

Don't worry. Remember that many people are 'wishful' about how much they drink the other way... so really dangerous behaviour would be WAY worse than yours in most cases. Hence to be on the safe side the docs make it really scary.

Huge numbers of women find out they're pregnant at between 4-6 weeks. They've been drinking, eating pate etc' in the meantime. The vast majority of those women and their babies are fine. Also, although sadly a small number of all pregnancies do miscarry, most of those are down to genetics (the egg or sperm wasn't developed) and sadly just a random event, nothing to do with a few pints before they even realised.

Marcie123 Tue 11-Mar-14 10:07:58

It is all the vodka I drank that is really bothering me more than the pints although that is not good eithersad added up its a lot of units!!

Thank you for all your comments you have all helped me to put it into perspective I had managed to get a doctors appt today and fingers crossed I will be ok.

I am going to avoid google though it turned me into a sobbing emotional wreck! I was convinced I had caused my baby brain damage and lots of other awful things. It's nice to see other people have felt like me and have had positive results - thank you smile

ChicaMomma Tue 11-Mar-14 11:00:58

I got pregnant on my honeymoon, which was all inclusive- enough said. Wine every single nite, sometimes 2 bottles between us plus a few cocktails. Then a few heavy nites after we got home as well, i got my BFP at 5 weeks. I did feel guilty but i've been assured it's fine, that right up until 6 weeks they dont even dip into your nutritional intake at all. It seems to happen to lots of people. I'm 26 weeks now and all seems great with me and the baby, hopefully it stays that way. I feel a bit guilty too so i can empathise. I'm sure our babas will be perfect though


ChicaMomma Tue 11-Mar-14 11:01:53

PS, i'm also 37. Not that it matters but just thought i'd share!!
I was actually full sure because of my ''advanced'' age i'd have to be off drink to conceive- it appears not!!

SweetPea86 Tue 11-Mar-14 11:06:29

Try not to worry Hun, I rarely drink yet very early stages I had a party and got stupidly drunk, a week later I found out I was preg.

I haven't drank at all whilst preg just because I can take or leave alcohol at the best of times.

I have friends and family who drank within guidelines and had perfectly healthy babies.

It's just another thing women are made to feel guilty for whilst being pregnant.

Marcie123 Tue 11-Mar-14 11:36:29

Yes I think it's the 2 weeks after I should have found out that are worrying me ( week 6 and week 6)although I did drink before as well which is not good.Big night out on what would be week 5 where I was really drunk and a big vodka night week 6 not to mention 3 to 4 pints of lager in the week. Several times.

Nothing I can do now but hope all ok. I am not going to drink again at all during this pregnancy

I am amazed I am pregnant at all to be honest considering my age 37 and a half, lots of stress, problems with partner in fact we have had a temporary split for the past 4 weeks so distinct lack of physical activity! and all this drinking!! That's why I didn't think to test I didn't think I could be

Plateofcrumbs Tue 11-Mar-14 11:43:18

Congratulations on your pregnancy! So many women end up in this situation, you are in very good company.

The first year or so of TTC I'd been very cautious about my alcohol intake in the 2nd half of the month 'just in case'. But I was frankly getting fed up of living my life around the anticipation of something that just didn't seem to be happening for us. The month I thought 'sod this' and had two big, incredibly boozy nights out just before my period was due was, of course, the month it finally happened.

Marcie123 Tue 11-Mar-14 11:51:02

Yes I think it's the 2 weeks after I should have found out that are worrying me ( week 6 and week 6)although I did drink before as well which is not good.Big night out on what would be week 5 where I was really drunk and a big vodka night week 6 not to mention 3 to 4 pints of lager in the week. Several times.

Nothing I can do now but hope all ok. I am not going to drink again at all during this pregnancy

I am amazed I am pregnant at all to be honest considering my age 37 and a half, lots of stress, problems with partner in fact we have had a temporary split for the past 4 weeks so distinct lack of physical activity! and all this drinking!! That's why I didn't think to test I didn't think I could be

22honey Tue 11-Mar-14 20:29:08

I wouldn't worry, I'm 22 and didn't find out till I was 7 weeks, it was also unplanned and because it was during December I partied hard, lots of drinking, late nights etc.

I'm 17+2 now and everything is fine so far.

I know several people who drank alcohol, smoked weed and cigarettes throughout their pregnancy and even one who took cocaine etc in the early days before she knew and ALL their babies have been perfect, full term with easy labours. Some are now school children who are thriving, I really wouldn't worry. I know its hard though as I worried constantly when I first found out about the hard partying throughout a rather stressful time when there was a major bereavement in my OH's family.

The only time I'd say anyone should be worried is if they've carried on partying hard throughout the pregnancy or are addicted to crack or heroin.

22honey Tue 11-Mar-14 20:35:58

I will add I also know someone who overdosed on MDMA in pregnancy (they were atleast 12 weeks! she didn't know she was pregnant) and ended up in hospital unconscious. Her DD was fine and is now a perfect 6 year old.

Not saying any such behaviour is safe or recommended, but honestly I think social stigma exasperates people's worries on this sort of thing.

anothermrssmith Tue 11-Mar-14 20:55:28

Another one here that did the exact same thing! Hubby and I had been trying to conceive from jan last year and I stopped drinking altogether but in may a friend of ours got married in America, so me, hubby and 12 of our friends went to Chicago and New York where we drank our body weight in cocktails every night, copious amounts of beer with lunch and one night went on a bar crawl until 3am with some random New Yorkers we met in a bar. Got home on the Saturday,found out I was 9 weeks pregnant the following Tuesday. In the two weeks before we left I took 4 tests,all were negative I only tested again as I thought the weight I was gaining and my tummy going hard was an ovarian cyst (had one removed previously) and wanted to tell the dr I had tested recently and def wasn't pregnant.

DD now 2 months old and is absolutely perfect. Easier said than done I know but try not to worry,I'm sure everything will be fine.

CarlyKins Tue 11-Mar-14 23:00:18

I hear you loud and clear, it's a horrible feeling. It took me 8 years to get pregnant didn't think it would happen. To cut a long story short I found out I was pregnant, not just that but I was 5 months gone! Had absolutely no idea at all. I didn't go out every weekend but still had a fair few nights out and I drink a lot once I get going, also smoked quite a lot socially. I'm 36 weeks today and baby is fine as far as been told nothing picked up on scans apart from bit bigger than average. I feel absolutely disgusting like I've let my son down, constantly worried of doing harm to him. The day found out, I never touched a cigerette since or a drop of alcohol and would never have done if had known was actually carrying a baby the whole time. Have learnt to try not to worry too much because stress is not good for the baby and can't change what's already happened. I really do understand how u feel, but at least u are still very early in pregnancy u can stop now, a lot easier said than done but it's not your fault- u didn't know. I wish u all the best am sure ur baby will be fine xxx

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