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Pregnancy

HELP: binge drank daily not knowing pregnant

125 replies

Help23 · 12/02/2024 21:25

I'm so sad, I had no idea I was pregnant until 7.5 weeks, I was drinking and smoking heavily until I found out. I don't just mean a few weekends but lunchtime and evenings every single day. I was having both an awful time at work and also a packed social life. When I was pregnant with my first, I knew straight away and touched nothing in my first trimester, then maybe one or two small glasses of wine occasionally with a meal in the second and third. As a result of the risk. I am considering going through an abortion and I keep bursting into tears. As I know I'll never get over this, but I equally don't want to knowingly bring a baby into the world at risk of FAS.

All the studies are not helping me because they talk about alcoholics that drink huge amounts daily throughout the pregnancy that have poor outcomes (I'm not sure of the % which are okay), or anecdotal evidence shows a few big nights and moderate drinks midweek for those who find out and stop when they know are usually good outcomes despite concerns of the mothers. However, I don't find anything that really explains what is developing at 3 - 8 weeks, or how the science actually works in terms of the protective nature of the body etc. All I can see is that 3 - 8 weeks is where organs and facial features begin to develop.

I'm really sad but need to fully consider the science here, or any genuine examples of such an extreme case. I just am quite boozy when not pregnant, can easily put away a pint or two at lunch, a couple of pints after work, bottle of wine and even a couple of nightcaps on most evenings in a bad month. I don't think I've ever had a worse 5 weeks in my life in terms of health.. SadSadSad

OP posts:
Meshka · 12/02/2024 21:31

Well.... you don't need to do anything yet but you do need to speak to your midwife about the risks and be completely honest

No judgement here, but that's alot of booze. If you were not pregnant would you be carrying on with that level of alcohol?

No stranger on the Internet can help really but I really do think speak to a midwife or even your GP for some real medical advice, also maybe your not as far along as initially thought?

Hope you OK 💐

DragonFly98 · 12/02/2024 21:38

The risk is the highest at end end few weeks of the first trimester than at any other point in pregnancy. Assuming you stopped at 7.5 week I would try to stop worrying so much and speak to your midwife.

PickledScrump · 12/02/2024 21:38

The biggest risk early on is an increased risk of miscarriage. Early in the pregnancy baby gets nourishment from the yolk sac, once the placenta takes over is the bigger risk as alcohol can pass through the placenta to baby, the placenta begins to take over around 10 weeks, so you have realised early on. I would have a very frank discussion with a midwife about the potential risks at this point but I think there is a very good chance that everything will be fine as long as you have now stopped.

JanetareyouokareyouokJanet · 12/02/2024 21:42

You have a child already? and have been drinking everyday due to work stress and a packed social life.

Cowboybuilderwoes · 12/02/2024 21:45

A Harvard study found no issue with drinking in first trimester on the outcome of the baby.

literally so many people do it and babies are fine. So many people are careful and health gods but have children with issues / miscarriage/ still birth.

Literally not worth worrying.

liveforsummer · 12/02/2024 21:46

JanetareyouokareyouokJanet · 12/02/2024 21:42

You have a child already? and have been drinking everyday due to work stress and a packed social life.

This stood out to me too. I'm inclined to be more concerned for dc1. At 7 weeks it isn't ideal but as above a chat with a midwife log y make risks clearer. Where is your current child in all this socialising and drinking though?

Whatevershallidowithmylife · 12/02/2024 21:48

What about your current child? You need to look at your life differently!

DameKatyDenisesClagnuts · 12/02/2024 22:17

The best plan is to ask for a consultant referral so that a fetal medicine doctor can discuss the risks with you. This chart shows the early stages of fetal development and which structures develop when.

mothertobaby.org/fact-sheets/critical-periods-development/

DameKatyDenisesClagnuts · 12/02/2024 22:18

Cowboybuilderwoes · 12/02/2024 21:45

A Harvard study found no issue with drinking in first trimester on the outcome of the baby.

literally so many people do it and babies are fine. So many people are careful and health gods but have children with issues / miscarriage/ still birth.

Literally not worth worrying.

I'm not aware of this study and unfortunately the data overall do not support this

GrazingSheep · 12/02/2024 22:22

I just am quite boozy when not pregnant, can easily put away a pint or two at lunch, a couple of pints after work, bottle of wine and even a couple of nightcaps on most evenings in a bad month

Thats a lot of booze.
What age is your older child ?

Pumpkindoodles · 13/02/2024 09:58

So you were having approx 5 pints and a bottle of wine every day for 5 weeks? Plus a couple of night caps most days? That does seem a lot tbh and I’d be worried too. If you’re saying that’s normal for you and a coping mechanism for a tough time, I think that’s just quite unhealthy mentally for you too. What would happen if you weren’t pregnant, could you just stop? I would definitely try to speak to your midwife about this but also maybe just get some support either way for your alcohol levels. Most of the studies refer to alcoholic levels of consumption, not just someone having a couple of nights out and a drink with lunch, but tbh I’d say your levels sound quite high and maybe similar to that of an alcoholic. Hope you’re ok op, you didn’t know so try not to beat yourself up

Help23 · 13/02/2024 13:56

Thank you for your support. I just have a very high tolerance and busy life - weirdly I function quite well in such a ridiculous manner.

A midwife would not have as much information and data on the scientific aspects which I need to understand to make a decision.

Though, you’re right I need professional input so am desperately trying to find an obstetrician I can talk to, or perhaps two for a second opinion.

If anyone knows any in London please share x

OP posts:
Help23 · 13/02/2024 13:58

Thank you, but that 3-8 weeks point is a concern. I’m trying to find an obstetrician and hopefully paediatric input to have some professional advice. Midwifes wouldn’t have as much training on the scientific aspects I need to understand.

OP posts:
Help23 · 13/02/2024 14:00

I have completely stopped as soon as I found out. Yeah I did read about the yolk sack, apparently particles can get in to the baby but I am not too sure of the science behind how this can have adverse outcomes to development (other than the miscarriage risk).

OP posts:
Sdpbody · 13/02/2024 14:03

I think you have a HUGE problem with alcohol. This is not normal at all, pregnant or not. I would seek help for both your alcoholism and your pregnancy.

Help23 · 13/02/2024 14:03

When I read Emily Oster’s book - Expecting Better, she is very clear about only having half a glass in the first trimester due to the risk she calculated as an economist and the 3-8 weeks facial development is really key. So I am worried, but responding to this thread and reading the posts - perhaps some of her advice on that is around miscarriage, which gives me a small amount of reassurance. I actually emailed her my dilemma in the hope she responds.

OP posts:
user120405 · 13/02/2024 14:03

Try not to worry, there is nothing you can do about what has already happened.

I didn't know when I was first pregnant with DS1 and was drinking quite a lot due to a crazy social life at the time.

DS1 is very noticeably smaller than DS2. But otherwise he is a healthy, intelligent, attractive young adult.

Help23 · 13/02/2024 14:09

Me and my husband take it in turns to do childcare, weekdays he’s at nursery whilst I’m at work so I am not drinking significantly whilst looking after my child or whilst he’s awake or if we’re not together all as a family) my husband doesn’t drink much or often). I’m afraid when you put away as much as I do for twenty years, your tolerance becomes very high so whilst the quantity is huge - I’m never drinking ever to the point of feeling it except on occasions where I’m not responsible for my son’s care.

OP posts:
Help23 · 13/02/2024 14:10

Do you know where I can find this study?

OP posts:
SisterMichaelsHabit · 13/02/2024 14:12

What do you mean you need this information to make a decision? Surely you already know if you want the child or not? Would you really hinge your entire decision on the advice of some MNers on the off chance your child MIGHT be affected by your own behaviour?

Help23 · 13/02/2024 14:12

Yeah I did immediately stop when I found out, I’m not a dependent alcoholic. Though you’re right it’s likely the same units as one which is why I am concerned.

If you know any relevant doctors in London please send my way, it’s incredibly hard to find them.

OP posts:
GeneCity · 13/02/2024 14:22

OP, you keep saying that a midwife won't be able to help, but they'll be able to dig out you or refer you to someone who can.

GeneCity · 13/02/2024 14:22

^signpost you or refer you to someone who can

Firsttimebabymama · 13/02/2024 14:23

I'd had a couple of drinks before I found out, and my midwife said not to worry about it when before 10 weeks. If you stopped at 7 weeks I wouldn't worry.

Sophist · 13/02/2024 14:28

I drank a lot when I was (unknowingly) first pregnant with DS as it was Christmas and we were going to lots of parties etc. Everything was fine.

I agree with PP that you have been drinking a huge amount. It's great you've stopped now- maybe this pregnancy would a good time to reset your drinking habits.

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