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Will excessive alcohol intake during inital pregnancy cause problems in the fetus?

DOCTOR OF THE MONTH - Mar 2016
Mar 2016
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I think I am 4.5 weeks pregnant. I missed a period and did three tests... I had about 3 beers during the day and then about 4-5 drinks of rum in the evening of a funeral when I would have been maybe 4 weeks and 2 days pregnant. I was drunk.... Will my baby be ok? Or shall I consider a medical abortion?
Posted Sun, 2 Feb 2014 in Pregnancy
 
 
Answered by Dr. S Patra 25 minutes later
Brief Answer: DETAILS ARE GIVEN BELOW. Detailed Answer: Hello, Thanks for writing to us on XXXXXXX Heavy drinking or too much alcohol consumption is not good for health. It should be restricted or controlled to avoid ill XXXXXXX effect. Alcohol consumption (more or less) usually does not create any harmful effect to growing embryo before confirmation of pregnancy or getting first missed period because fetal Organogenesis starts from 5th week onwards. It should be completely stopped soon after missed period and throughout the pregnancy period to avoid FAS (Fetal Alcohol Syndrome). Here, you need to undergo one Trans Vaginal Ultrasound scan and blood test for beta-hCG at the earliest to check that fetus is viable with normal heart beat and properly developed according to gestational age. Above tests give a gross idea (preliminary) of healthy pregnancy and overall fetal well being. In addition, you must take Folic acid & Vitamin supplements for better growth and development of nervous system and avoid NTD (Neural Tube Disease). Hope, I have answered your query. Kindly, close the discussion if you don't have any other query. Wish your good health and take care yourself. Regards, Dr Soumen For future query, you can directly approach me through WWW.WWWW.WW
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Follow-up: Will excessive alcohol intake during inital pregnancy cause problems in the fetus? 12 minutes later
Thanks for your answer, that makes me a little more comfortable but there is just one thing that I'd like to understand. I know that one of the main stages of the Central Nerve System development is toward the end of the 4th week (when I was drunk) and that there is brain development too. I am scared that my 'binge' happened on the complete wrong day and that damage done already could be undetected? Is that right? I'm paranoid about having a baby with FAS. Of course I have completely stopped drinking now
 
 
Answered by Dr. S Patra 7 hours later
Brief Answer: DETAILS ARE GIVEN BELOW. Detailed Answer: Hello, Thanks for follow up query. In the 4th week, embryo is divided into three layers that will later form organs and other tissues from 5th week onwards. The neural tube – from which the brain, backbone and spinal cord, and nerves will sprout – develops in the top layer. The heart and the circulatory system begin to appear in the middle layer. The third layer starts to house the lungs, intestines and beginnings of the urinary system. Basically, risk or damage to central nervous system and heart function by alcohol consumption between 4th to 5th week is very minimal or rare. As you stopped drinking, then possibility of FAS is quite negligible before 5th week. At this stage, you need to undergo one Trans Vaginal Ultrasound scan (TVS) and blood test for beta-hCG at the earliest to check fetus is viable with normal heart beat and properly developed according to gestational age. Above tests give gross idea (preliminary) of healthy pregnancy and overall fetal well being. After that, you have to do some other investigation as per your gestational age. They are : 1) Nuchal Translucency & Double marker test (9-13 weeks), 2) TRIPLE or QUADRUPLE test (14-20 weeks), 3) Amniocentesis (15-20 weeks), 4) TIFFA scan ( 18-23 weeks), 5) Repeated ultrasound scan etc are to be done to eliminate gross and minor fetal anomaly (if any). If you get positive result on all test reports, then you can definitely eliminate possible birth defect. Please, do periodic check up to your obstetrician, take healthy protein rich 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. Kindly, close the discussion. Wish your good health and successful motherhood. Regards, Dr Soumen
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