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Consumed alcohol during pregnancy. What is the likelihood that child will development mental retardation?

Mar 2016
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Practicing since : 2011
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I would like a second opinion concerning the likely impact of heavy alcohol consumption that I engaged in before I knew I was pregnant. When I was 28 days from my last period, I consumed two bottles (1500 ml) of wine on my own over the course of six to seven hours. The next day (29 days from my last period), I had three standard drinks (one beer, two glasses of wine) over 4 to 5 hours. The day after that (30 days from my last period), I had four beers over the course of 5 to 6 hours. At 31 days from my last period, I realized that my period was a day or two late and took a pregnancy test, which was positive.

My question is - what is the likelihood that my child will have developmental delays/mental retardation as a result of the alcohol consumption in early pregnancy? My ultrasound sound scans confirmed that I likely conceived about 14 to 15 days before my heaviest drinking episode (the two bottles of wine in one night).
Posted Fri, 26 Jul 2013 in Pregnancy
Answered by Dr. S Patra 1 hour later

Thanks for writing to us on XXXXXXX

First of all, heavy drinking or too much alcohol consumption is not good for health. It should be restricted or controlled to avoid ill XXXXXXX effect.

Second thing, alcohol consumption (more or less) usually does not create any harmful effect to growing fetus before confirmation of pregnancy (around 4 weeks in your case) because fetal organogenesis takes place after 5 weeks. Here, chance of fetal developmental delay or mental retardation is quite less. Though, you need to confirm fetal anomaly in follow up ultrasound scan around 8-10 weeks with other investigation in later months.

Last thing, you need to discontinue or stop alcohol consumption from now and throughout the pregnancy & lactation period to get a healthy baby.

Please, do periodic check up to your obstetrician, take healthy protein XXXXXXX diet with vitamin and folic acid supplements, drink more water, avoid heavy work and mental stress, take adequate bed rest and maintain personal hygiene.

Hope, it helps for your information. If you need any clarification, you can freely ask me.

Wish your good health and successful motherhood.

Dr Soumen
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Consumed alcohol during pregnancy. What is the likelihood that child will development mental retardation? 6 hours later
My ultrasound scans have shown no anomalies to date. I had an ultrasound scan at 12 weeks, at 20 weeks, and at 25 weeks, all of which reflected normal fetal growth.

Does the normal growth of the fetus provide any indication as to whether the heavy alcohol consumption up until 30 days from my last period will result in mental retardation/developmental delays?
Answered by Dr. S Patra 6 hours later

Thanks for follow up query.

Normal fetal growth mostly indicates a healthy baby. Several ultrasound scan also reflect that and gross anomalies are ruled out.

In this stage, possibility of mental retardation or developmental delays of the baby is quite less if you have totally stopped alcohol consumption after confirmation of pregnancy. You would undergo periodic check up for overall assessment of fetal well being.

Hope, I have answered your query. If you do not have any other query, you can close the discussion.

Good luck. Best wishes to you.

Dr Soumen
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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