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My PG friend is drinking, smoking cigarettes and marijuana

(62 Posts)
user1487978064 Sat 25-Feb-17 01:57:57

Hi, im new to mumsnet so i havent learned all the abbreviations yet.

My childhood best friend is over 6months and I recently found out from her that she is smoking marijuana, cigarettes and drinking alcohol.
She told me she is trying to quit cigarettes.

I am absolutely horrified and devastated.
She told me she had been trying for over a year to get pregnant after she had a miscarriage 2 years ago.
I dont understand why she wouldnt have quit before trying?

I come from a family that believe its inherently wrong to drink, smoke, do drugs anything! Hell my family wont even eat pasteurised cheese!

So upon learning this i am disgusted and horrified that after having a sudden miscarriage that she says was not to do with her habits that she could do this to her baby.

I fell pregnant in the summer of last year and the moment i realised i was pregnant (we were not planning or trying) i quit smoking immediately and stopped eating/drinking anything dangerous.

We werent even sure we wanted a child but i still didnt do anything that could harm our baby. Almost as soon as we decided to keep our baby, i lost it.
I was very early in pregnancy but it was still horribly sad, then we found out that i have fibromyalgia and some other health issues that can be genetic (my mum has fibro) so ethically we decided not to have children so as not to pass on bad genes to them.

After my best friend getting pregnant i was so excited for her but i also was sad in a way as i wanted a child that i cant have.

I was so ecstatic about her having a baby, i felt so much love and joy for her, her partner and her baby. But now all i feel is fear for the baby?
I dont know what to do.

I saw her 6month scan and it looks like her baby has cleft palate, which is even more terrifying. I feel like she is going to be a really bad parent and i feel so guilty for thinking it.

I welcome any advice/stories.

BottomlyP0tts Sat 25-Feb-17 04:47:02

I'm not sure how qualified you are to know her baby has a cleft palate... at all...

Quitting is extremely hard to do, you haven't seen this first hand and have only learned from friends.

You have no idea if it is the occasional glass of wine etc

I suggest you talk to her instead of going on mumsnet. To spout about how you are so much better than her.

I am not condoning anything she has done or is doing. I just know many fantastic mothers who had the odd glass of wine/joint/smoke. When pregnant. A chronic addiction is another story

WetlookWasp Sat 25-Feb-17 05:05:04

The baby might be fine, a lot are even when subjected to alcohol, cigarettes and drugs in the womb.

She probably won't be a great mum though. I know plenty who reassure themselves they are good mums when drinking/taking drugs a lot.

And the honest truth is they aren't as good as they could be.

I understand why it has upset you so much though.

Miscarriages just seem that extra bit unfair when you see someone being reckless with their baby/pregnancy and you lost even when doing your best.

I was a 40 a day smoker and heavy drinker in my earlier years. Quit all of that when we decided to start ttc.

Bluebellevergreen Sat 25-Feb-17 05:07:41

How can you possibly know about the cleft palate?
I come from a family that believe its inherently wrong to drink, smoke, do drugs anything! Hell my family wont even eat pasteurised cheese!
But you said you were smoking and drinking before your pregnancy hmm
Well maybe your views are compromised a bit, I am not defending smoking in pregnancy but you say you are a friend, yet she had a miscarriage and you are judging before trying to understand why she might still be doing these things.

If you are worried about the baby can't you talk to her and offer support? She could be terrified about another miscarriage for example and the smoking/ drinking is her way of dealing with this? I agree this is not good for the baby but you can help her instead

TiltedNewt Sat 25-Feb-17 06:11:54

You do realise this is her baby not yours right? I suggest you make peace with your choice not to have children and let your friend get on with her own life.

msrisotto Sat 25-Feb-17 06:16:16

I dunno op, lots of babies are born in worse conditions than her. You're judging a lot but really, baby will probably be fine.

troodiedoo Sat 25-Feb-17 06:27:54

I did all of the above (not proud and not condoning it) 16 years ago with my first, and she's fine. Some people will have followed all the guidelines and not been so lucky. As others have said if she has actual addictions that is a concern. All you can do is be a caring supportive friend.

Paninotogo Sat 25-Feb-17 06:30:49

Are you a sonographer? Did you see something on her scan missed by her healthcare team?

cowgirlsareforever Sat 25-Feb-17 06:33:42

I think there will be implications for the baby. He or she will be at real risk of FAS so I understand why you are worried. Sadly though there's little you can do.

msrisotto Sat 25-Feb-17 06:44:14

Baby will only be a risk of foetal alcohol syndrome if she's drinking a hell of a lot, a lot of the time. OP hasn't said that, just that she does drink.

cowgirlsareforever Sat 25-Feb-17 06:50:46

Looking at the advice on the NICE website, I don't think it's true that there's only a risk if a mother drinks a lot. There is risk from any intake if alcohol. The risk increases if the alcohol intake increases. That's why the advice is to avoid drinking altogether when pregnant.

cowgirlsareforever Sat 25-Feb-17 06:51:14

Of not if.

cowgirlsareforever Sat 25-Feb-17 06:54:29

The FASAWARE website states that a small amount of alcohol carries a 'great risk' to an unborn child.

Mooey89 Sat 25-Feb-17 06:58:46


Runningissimple Sat 25-Feb-17 07:08:36

I work with kids in school all the time who were exposed to high levels of alcohol and other substances in utero. It can lead to impaired cognitive function and concentration issues. These are not always diagnosed or particularly visible disabilities but they are far more widespread than you might imagine.

I'm quite surprised how blasé lots of the posters are on this thread. And it's not just between the mother and her baby. As a society we all pick up the pieces for those poor choices, none more so than her unborn child.

BottomlyP0tts Sat 25-Feb-17 07:12:03

running we are being blase because the OP shad not witnessed any of this first hand and we have no idea if it is high levels or not. Look up the Jamaican study as well. I did my summer scholarships on the psych med ward at University and saw many children like you speak of none - none had parents that had the occasional glass of wine/smoke/joint...

Also it's literally a joke that the OP is assuming the child has a cleft palate from a scan unless she is a sonography..

BottomlyP0tts Sat 25-Feb-17 07:12:51

Has... sonographer...

bloody fat fingers

cowgirlsareforever Sat 25-Feb-17 07:20:03

I think the Jamaican study relates to marijuana, only, not alcohol intake.

Monstamio Sat 25-Feb-17 07:22:02

What exactly is a six month scan? hmm. Most pregnancies are scanned at roughly 12 and 20 weeks unless there are reasons for additional scans (growth concerns, other medical complications etc etc). And quite how you're able to diagnose a cleft palate from someone else's scan I don't know.

Welcome to mumsnet btw

Sparklyuggs Sat 25-Feb-17 07:38:31

I'm guessing that the OP is in the USA where a six month scan is more common.

OP- have you spoken to your friend? Medical guidelines state that alcohol/smoking/drugs are not good for babies but your friend probably knows this. You could look into support groups/services for her and offer to help her however she needs?

Failing that, if you genuinely believe that she is wilfully harming her unborn child then you could consider contacting social services.

Runningissimple Sat 25-Feb-17 07:47:50

bottomleypotts I hadn't seen that. Really interesting. She talked about cultural differences and the effects of poverty on child development as an explanation as to why other studies show different results.

I also think that the cultural context if the study is important. A person choosing to smoke cannabis in a culture where that has been done for generations is a different choice than someone who chooses to do so in a culture against all official recommendations ifyswim.

I was all very live and let live about all of this until I worked with children who had been born addicts but adopted at birth and raised in wonderful families. Now less cool with it,

ememem84 Sat 25-Feb-17 07:50:55

My gp told me I was allowed two glasses of wine a week if I wanted.

A friend of mine smoked through both her pregnancies. Her gp told her it'd be more dangerous for her to quit so just to cut down.

Runningissimple Sat 25-Feb-17 07:54:44

Also the kids I'm talking about wouldn't be on a psych ward and I'm not quite sure if the relevance of stating the obvious fact that lots of children have problems whose parents never smoked, drank etc. It's completely irrelevant.

Hollyhop17 Sat 25-Feb-17 08:22:22

Also shocked at the blase attitudes on heree to drinking, smoking and drugs in pregnancy. I also don't believe for one minute any healthcare professional would ever tell a pregnant person it's ok to carry on smoking.

The cleft palate comment is odd though...

BottomlyP0tts Sat 25-Feb-17 08:42:48

running sorry I should clarify the psych med ward isn't a psychiatric ward as such at our university it dealt with addictions so children of parents who were addicts came under this umbrella.

Agree that it's irrelevant to compare children who are born with disabilities to healthy non smoking etc mothers.

My problem is the OP doesnt actually know for sure if any of this is going on and to what extent.. it's just speculation and the cleft palate part is what set my radar off.

A poster saying they are concerned about a known addict having a child would warrant a very different opinion from me.

If she is genuinely concerned then she should speak to social services.

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