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Alcoholic. Found pregnancy. What are the harmful effect of alcohol consumption on growing embryo?

DOCTOR OF THE MONTH - Mar 2016
Mar 2016
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The first day of my last period was January 4, 2013. I have been drinking moderately to heavily on several occasions over the last month. This weekend (over the last few days) was the heaviest I have drank in a long time, due to various parties and social functions. I drank a bottle of wine and a beer over several hours on Friday night, had three drinks on Saturday night, and had four beers on Sunday night for the Super Bowl. On a whim today, I took a pregnancy test, and it was positive. I have already scheduled an appointment with my doctor but am very anxious over the effects of alcohol consumption (at what I consider to be a high level) during the first few weeks of pregnancy. I believe that I would be considered four weeks pregnant at this point because the first day of my last period was January 4 (one month ago).
Posted Sun, 24 Feb 2013 in Women's Health
 
 
Answered by Dr. S Patra 1 hour later
Hello XXXXXXX

Thanks for writing to us. I am trying to give answer according to your concern.

Now you are 4 weeks pregnant. Practically, most of the women do not know whether they are pregnant or not without pregnancy test.

The following information will help you to know properly about the effect of drinking on early pregnancy. These includes:

1) Drinking in very early pregnancy, usually before a positive pregnancy test, is typically not a problem to cause harmful effect on growing embryo. It is sometimes thought of as a protective effect for early weeks (before 4 weeks) when you don't know you are pregnant.

2) It is also known that drinking in pregnancy period is always harmful to baby particularly in first trimester when organogenesis of the baby takes place. It can cause major problems like fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS), miscarriage, birth defects and delayed development in the child etc.

Therefore, you should discontinue to take drinking at the earliest and throughout the pregnancy period up to 6 months after delivery. One TVS scan (Trans Vaginal Sonography) is essential to view detailed picture on gestational sac and to rule out any defect embryo. You should start taking folic acid & vitamin supplements as soon as possible to avoid neural defect of the baby.

Please consult with your gynecologist regarding this and take suggestive measures.

Do the following things for healthy pregnancy:

1) Take Healthy protein XXXXXXX diet with extra 350 Kcal/ day.
2) Eat vegetables & fresh fruits on regular basis.
3) Puffed rice is useful to avoid morning sickness.
4) Drink more water to stay hydrated & for better feto-placental circulation.
5) Take an adequate bed rest and preferably 8-10 hrs daily in divided schedule.
6) Try to avoid stress/tension/emotional upset by regular XXXXXXX breathing.
7) Avoid long journey/ heavy work/ high heal shoe in the first trimester.
8) Main personal hygiene including breast & genital care with proper washing.
9) Take Iron/ calcium supplements from 16 weeks onwards, Two doses of TT in the 2nd trimester and complete all necessary investigations.
10) Periodic measurement of Weight gain and BP. 10-12 kg weight gain is normal.

Hope I have answered your query. If you have any further questions I will be happy to help.

Wish you for good health and successful motherhood.

Regards,
Dr Soumen
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
 
Follow-up: Alcoholic. Found pregnancy. What are the harmful effect of alcohol consumption on growing embryo? 12 minutes later
Thank you, Dr. Soumen. Your response was very helpful. I do, however, have a follow-up question concerning your statement that "It is also known that drinking in pregnancy period is always harmful to baby particularly in first trimester when organogenesis of the baby takes place. It can cause major problems like fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS), miscarriage, birth defects and delayed development in the child etc."

During what week in pregnancy does organogenesis take place? If I am 4 weeks pregnant now, has the fetus already begun the process of organogenesis?

 
 
Answered by Dr. S Patra 31 minutes later
Hello XXXXXXX

Thanks for follow up query. I am happy to help you.

1) Organogenesis is the period of time when important organs of fetus develop. This begins from 5th weeks and completed on 12th weeks. In this period, the fetus has more risk for birth defects, caused by external factors like drugs and other toxins.

2) In the 4th week, zygote transforms into blastocyst and you can see gestational sac by TVS scan only. Fetus does not start organogenesis still now.

If you do not have any clarifications, you can close the discussion and rate the answer.

Be well and stay healthy.

Regards,
Dr Soumen.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by
 
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