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Scared I've drunk too much alcohol....

(36 Posts)
ashamedmummy Sun 01-Jun-08 13:36:33

The reason I'm posting this is beacuse I'm scared so please please don't just have a go at me. I know 've been stupid and I want some honest advise as to how much damage I might have caused my baby.

This is my 3rd pregnancy and I'm 19 weeks - I have 2 healthy children already but am scared that I've drunk too much and want to know HONESTLY whether this sounds too much. I hardly drank at all in the first 12 weeks as felt lousy but in the past 6/7 weeks or so I've slipped into having a (fairly large)glass of wine every other night. I've never got drunk but have definitely drunk more than my other pregnancies.

Is this way too much? I know it probably is but have had bad news which started the spiral which I am going to end now.

Any advise - good or bad?

CantSleepWontSleep Sun 01-Jun-08 13:42:09

It's good that you didn't drink in the first 12 weeks, as this is actually the most important period for abstinence.

No one can tell you what harm you have done - maybe none, maybe some, but stop now so that you can give your baby the best chance.

Look for help elsewhere for your other problems.

CantSleepWontSleep Sun 01-Jun-08 13:43:16

That's 'elsewhere' as in 'not in a bottle'. You can of course look for help on MN .

SenoraPostrophe Sun 01-Jun-08 13:46:41

the old advice (before they changed it to no alcohol) was max 7 units a week, with max 2 in any one day. a large glass of wine is probably about 2 units, so one every other night would be the maximum that would have been recommended last year.

and remember that there is hardly any evidence for that change. (they just like telling women what to do I think). very few studies have been done on moderate drinking in pregnancy - the nasty ones you'll have heard were done on women who were hospitalised with alcohol poisoning at some point in their pregnancies.

you'll be fine.

MacMac123 Sun 01-Jun-08 13:48:48

God don't worry. I was doing tequilla slammmers in my first 12 weeks (didn't know I was pregnant at the time) and drank nearly a bottle and a half of wine 2 days before I found out I was pregnant (binge drinking britain, yep that's me!).
If you're going to read the Daily Mail and national guidelines then technically you are drinking too much, but across the country there are women who drink every day and their babies are born fine. Look at Kerry Katona - she was doing drugs and downing copious amounts of white wine and her new baby seems fine.
I am NOT advocating drinking, all I'm saying is that so much about motherhood is set up to make you feel guilty and like you're doing something wrong. It's not like your an alcoholic, or out on the razz every other night.
Just drink slightly less from now on and don't torture yourself!!!!

SenoraPostrophe Sun 01-Jun-08 13:48:50 fact I'm not even sure what evidence there was for the 7 unit a week limit.

it is highly, highly unlikely that you'll have damaged your baby. please don't worry about it so much.

TheProvincialLady Sun 01-Jun-08 13:49:19

You should be fine but if it was me I would not want to take a risk by drinking any more alcohol for the rest of my pregnancy.

reikizen Sun 01-Jun-08 13:49:37

Wow, every other night, where will it end??? Seriously, I'm pretty sure this is nothing to worry about in terms of 'damage to the baby'. We are not yet at the american stage of seeing women as simply handy incubators yet surely? But if you are trying to tell us in a roundabout way that you have a drink problem I would say seek advice from a professional sooner rather than later, booze addiction is horrible for small children. At least cut it out for a while and see how you feel. I drank during both my pregnancies to a point, we are human after all and with preg number 3 you are naturally more relaxed about what you are 'allowed' to do. Good luck. smile

MacMac123 Sun 01-Jun-08 13:54:28

A friend of mine who has just had her baby says all these guidelines are set up to protect stupid people from themselves. And that sensible people, who do things in moderation, pay the price as they listen and follow all advice to a tee, while all the stupid people continue to drink themselves into oblieration every night anyway.

She is of the everything in moderation school of thought and I have to say so am I. I have been having sushi once a week and who cares - not me! I mean, for crying out loud, what is with this don't eat sushi when you're pregnant thing anyway. There is a whole country full of people who eat sushi every day - JAPAN - and they are still having children OK.

Same goes with wine. If there was a problem wtih healthy drinking (ie a glass with dinner) then the country of France would have ceased to exist.

SenoraPostrophe Sun 01-Jun-08 13:58:27

see here - it's a meta-analysis of several studies (so more prgnancies were included in the study, making it more accurate overall). it found no risk for moderate drinking, which it defined as up to 14 units a week.

SenoraPostrophe Sun 01-Jun-08 13:59:26

lol @ France ceasing to exist!

AggiePanther Sun 01-Jun-08 18:09:00

you might find this interesting and or reassuring

catsypug Sun 01-Jun-08 18:35:06

I've definitely drunk more this time round than with first time - certainly not copious amounts, probably about 4-5 units every other week (which sounds a lot, but that's only about 2 glasses of wine)

I've also been drinking coca-cola and coffee which I never touched first time round. I think whatever gets you through personally grin I've found I need a little something for me now and again running after a 2.5yr old all day.

But, I used to work at Great Ormond Street and there were some babies there who had foetal alcohol syndrome but these babies are born to alcoholics. People who continue drinking 2 bottles of spirits and a few bottles of wine a day. People with terrible life stories who are beyond help and who feel nothing about the life growing inside them.

A baby with FAS looks alien like with a mishapen skull and slanted eyes. It's horrible.

Please don't worry yourself unneccesarily - it takes a hell of lot of alcohol to disable your baby in this way - more than a normal person with a conscience is capable of ingesting....even Kerry Katona!

Getting unit aware has helped actually, I used to think 1 unit equaled one glass of wine - not so, there's about 9 units in a bottle of wine so a largish glass could be about 3.

Just be aware and cut down if it makes you feel better smile

Tess321 Sun 01-Jun-08 18:53:42

The current advice from NICE regarding abstinence has no basis in scientific fact:-it's mainly for stupid people who don't understand what a unit is.
Yes you should drink less during pregnancy and as Catsypug says if you're an alcoholic drinking bottles of spirits every day there is a high risk your baby will have FAS BUT one glass of wine a night isnt going to do it.

Chill! Stressing about it will do your baby more harm

Minniethemoocher Sun 01-Jun-08 19:13:59

I didn't drink at all during the first and second trimesters with DD, just didn't fancy it. During the third trimester my Obstetrician recommended a glass of wine at night to help me sleep!

Looking forward to the third trimester with this baby! wink

peppy Tue 03-Jun-08 23:00:21

To Mac Mac. I lived in Japan, and they do not allow children to eat raw fish, on account of the amount of mercury in some fish. I presume pregnant women must also avoid sushi. It's not wise to eat this while pregnant. The salmon probably wouldn't harm you, but susi with raw tuna/prawns wouldn't be wise

madamez Tue 03-Jun-08 23:11:23

Well I drank a lot in the first 6 weeks of being PG because I didn't know I was. And had a few drinks now and again throughout the rest of the pregnancy - and my DS is now 3.8, healthy and regarded by his nursery as advanced for his age.
There are no guarantees, of course, but that's true of everything, so please don't worry about it overmuch. Oh, and enjoy your pregnancy.

lackaDAISYcal Tue 03-Jun-08 23:21:20

i spike to my HV about this when I was pregnant with DD and all the "abstain or be damned" hysteria first broke.

She said she has seen a lot of babies with FAS and in her experience were almost always born to alcoholic mothers. she also said that moderate drinking of up to 14 units a week would be highly unlikely to do any damage.

however, if you are feeling narked by it, try and cut back, but don't beat yourself up about it.

I am trying not to drink at all during this pregnancy, but that is more to do with my issues with alcohol pre getting pregnant than because I'm worried I'm drinking too much than is good for the baby, but I have enjoyed the odd glass.

LyraSilvertongue Tue 03-Jun-08 23:23:28

Really, that doesn't sound like a lot to me. I had similar during both my pgs and my boys are fine.

LyraSilvertongue Tue 03-Jun-08 23:30:15

Macmac, Japanese people don't eat Sushi every day. That's like saying Italians eat pasta every day.

ravenAK Tue 03-Jun-08 23:35:34

Have drunk during all 3 of my pregnancies.

In each case, I've discovered I was pg after a distinctly booze heavy few days/weeks (dd2 was conceived during dh's band's tour with some legendary booze hoovers - no-one involved was sober for a fortnight...)

After finding out I was pg, in each case I've cut down to a glass of wine every other night. Maybe a couple of glasses on a night out.

All 3 of my dc are absolutely fine.

It's wine, not radioactive waste! I have a mate who's a social worker & agrees that she's never encountered a baby with FAS whose mother wasn't an obviously high risk drinker.

That said, if you're going to fret over it for the remainder of your pg, possibly best to sack the wine, as the worrying over it is going to take all the pleasure out of your every other night drink!

chipmonkey Tue 03-Jun-08 23:38:01

I read "The triplet diaries" by Jackie Clune and she said her obs encouraged her to drink a glass of wine on occasion while pg with her triplets. Basically, what the obs said was that women whose babies were born with FAS were asked how much they had drunk whilst pg and they lied, making out that they had drunk far less than they did. This set off a wave of hysteria where women were told to abstain altogether but in reality moderate drinking does not cause problems.
Please don't worry, cut back now to be on the safe side but in all likelihood your baby will be fine.

Pinchypants Wed 04-Jun-08 10:41:28

LOL at 'it's wine, not radioactive waste'!

I must admit I've found this very sensible thread reassuring. First time round I didn't have a drop from conception onwards (we were trying for two years so very aware of cycle and avoided alcohol) to 12 weeks, then had a glass of wine once or twice a week tops for the remainder. This time round (am 29 weeks now) we conceived rather unexpectedly and had had a couple of big nights out before I found out. Then really didn't want anything to drink until around 14 weeks, since then have had a normal sized glass of wine probably three or four times a week, occasionally with another 'inch' to top up.

I know this is hardly alcohol abuse, and I never want more than this, but I have been feeling vaguely guilty. But having a glass of wine with friends/dinner/while I'm cooking at the weekends makes me feel like a normal human being - like myself. And after running my own business and being mummy to a lively 22 month old toddler, to be honest by Wednesday bathtime the thought of a nice cold glass of something (no cheap wine in the house now - if I'm only having one glass I'm gonna savour something good!) really does keep me going!

expatinscotland Wed 04-Jun-08 10:43:33

i hope you feel a bit more reassured, ashamed.

i didn't drink much in my pregnancies because have been sick a lot.

but i did have some shandies whilst pregnant with DD1 in the second trimester and some wine whilst pregnant with DD2.

chutneymary Wed 04-Jun-08 10:52:25

Ashamed - another voice to add to the many urging you not to worry.

My DD1 was conceived in a haze of booze, and when I was 5 weeks pg I went on a girls' week which was boozetastic. Wine at lunch, wine in the afternoon, wine with dinner and dancing round the pool until about 2am (it was a villa in the middle of nowhere, lest anyone thinks we were keeping everyone awake). Participated fully in the drinking and dancing. Did a pg test on day 1 of holiday, negative then started bleeding so assumed I was in the clear. Only realised when I got home that I was in fact up the duffer. DD is fine and dandy.

Didn't touch the stuff for the first 13 weeks once I found out as felt too ill. Then had a glass (or sometimes 2) when I fancied. Probably about 3 or 4 times a week. Both DDs fine.

This time - nothing for 13 weeks and now enjoying a glass as and when. No beer as the smell makes me heave. Providing you can spot the difference between a glass of wine and a whole bottle, I wouldn't worry.

And "radioactive waste" comment is inspired!

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