Please help! Worried sick, drinking alcohol before I k... - NCT


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Please help! Worried sick, drinking alcohol before I knew I was pregnant at 12 weeks

Catherinelouise1 profile image

Hi Everyone, I am very nervous about writing this and have been thinking about it for a while now but my worries have got the best of me and driving me nuts. I am sorry in advanced as this is a long post but please bare with me. I am not looking or judgment I have already judged myself enough for being so stupid to not realise there is a little human growing inside of me, I had no symptoms at all! I am looking for other women who have been in the same/similar situation as me or may know someone who has and can give me a little bit of hope and reassurance.

I found out I was pregnant at 12 weeks due to irregular periods, I had bit of a bleed which I thought was a period (silly me!) During those 12 weeks I believe I drank ALOT of alcohol which isn't something I normally do. I usually drink on a night out! I exercise everyday and eat a healthy diet, all in all I am usually a healthy person.

So my alcohol consumption is the following that I worked out to the best of my knowledge:

1-4 weeks: 2 weekends away on hen dos drinking, 2/3 bottles of wine each weekend and 2/3 glasses of wine 3/4 evenings a week, on the other days I did not drink at all.

4-8 weeks: 1 wedding drank about 1 and a half bottles of wine and again 2/3 glasses of wine 3/4 evenings a week on the other days I did not drink at all.

8-12 weeks: one week I did not drink at all which I think was week 9 and the other weeks 2/3 glasses of wine on 2 nights a week.

On the evenings I drank 2/3 glasses of wine I didn't drink to get drunk and was not drunk I found it relaxed me as my mother had passed away suddenly, I worked out I conceived just before the passing of my mother.

I am now 16+3 and taking prenatal vitamins and of course have not had an alcoholic drink since I found out and have been drinking plenty of water. I have been very honest with my doctor and midwife who both said the baby should be fine and I wouldn't believe how many women have come in, in the same situation which go on to have healthy babies. My doctor was brilliant and spent at least 20 minutes reassuring me and talking in length about FAS and explained FAS is caused by mothers who are dependent and cannot give up alcohol normally before conception and continue to drink excessively though out their entire pregnancies and I asked about developmental issues when the baby is born and growing up and again he said the same thing you have to be drinking daily and excessively to cause real damage. He also told me to stay off the internet which I have abided by until now as I a worrying myself to death that I have caused irreversible damage to my baby. My Doctor also gave me some studies conducted by professionals to read which basically explained what he told me but in more detail which reassured me for a little bit.

I have also had 2 scans and the baby is developing properly and everything is what is expected but I have read so many terrifying stories online some of which some ladies are considering abortion and this hasn't even crossed my mind and is not something I am considering at all but it has terrified me. I have also read a lot of conflicting information which explains drinking in the first 12 weeks is the worst time and other information says the baby is not fully connected to you nor sharing your blood stream properly until 12 weeks+ and takes nutrients from the sac before the placenta is fully formed.

I am ashamed, embarrassed, petrified and feel absolutely horrendous with the possibility I could have caused damage to my baby. I have cried myself to sleep a few times and consistently worried which equally is not good for the baby so I try and stay calm and positive but it is consuming me and feel I have ruined my pregnancy and wont be able to enjoy the next few months. I feel very alone although I have a supportive partner. Especially as my mother recently passed away and I feel I need her more than ever now. I hope this is a safe space to voice my concerns and not be trolled for my mistake.

I have read many stories with sad outcomes and I am in the hope of looking for reassuring positive stories which will give me some hope! Any ladies who had been in a similar situation or know someone who was, I would really like to hear how your little one is getting on.

Sorry again for the long post and thank you in advanced for your help, I really hope this makes me feel even the tiniest bit better.

Ps. I am getting support for my anxieties and the passing of my mother through my midwife.

9 Replies

I’m sure many of people have been in your situation don’t be hard on yourself. X

First hon, I'm so sorry for your loss. What a mixed up time for you, no wonder your head is all over the place.

This must happen all the time in unplanned pregnancies, you're very far from the only one I'm sure. I can't tell you anything your Dr hasn't, but he's given you the scientific facts and please trust in those rather than in Google horror stories.

I hope you can settle in and enjoy the rest of this pregnancy. Don't be too hard on yourself, you're going through a very upsetting time, plus pregnancy hormones... it's not easy!!

Hunni you can’t change what’s in the past. And your dr and midwife have no cause to lie to you. The internet is full of half truths and stories taken out of context whereas your medical team will have read and understood the research.

You said you wanted positive stories, well my colleague split up with her husband because the pressure of trying to conceive damaged their marriage. She then went out drinking and smoking every night for weeks trying to cope. Then found out she had fallen pregnant just before they split up. She now has a healthy 12 year old (and a ten year old too- she and her husband got back together 😀).

Oh and my mum’s generation having babies in the 70s all drank plenty throughout their pregnancies- they were told to drink stout or Guinness to nourish their babies!! And their children were fine. Please try to trust your medical team- they would tell you if you should worry xx

Your doctor sounds amazing. Take heed of their advice. Especially the bit about not Google-ing stuff! You say you've had two scans and the baby is developing fine. That's great.


I know first hand how you feel I didn’t know I was pregnant with my first I found out at 14weeks I was 20 drank so very much and smoked a lot of Marijuana before I found out I was pregnant the day found out that night before I was out drinking a lot my daughter is now 8 will be 9 in April and is as smart as can be she has no problems what’s so ever don’t beat your self up over it. Things like this happen especially to us women who don’t have regular periods your baby will be ok sending hugs!!

I think it's pretty common hun, I wasn't trying so out little one was a surprise. I was 11 weeks gone before I knew.. I had been drinking heavily for the 3 weeks before I knew, it was Halloween, then a mates house party. My perfect lil 5 month old is currently asleep on my chest. I felt so guilty but if you don't know you can't choose to change anything. I think it's ony persistent drinking that will cause problems later. I t totaled as soon as I knew :) try not to stress as it will make you feel worse. Your doing what's best for your lil one now :)

It was my birthday 2 weeks before I got the positive test and I went all out on the drinking that weekend! I then went on holiday 2 days later and again, went all out on all the wrong foods and alcohol! I must of been between 5 and 7 weeks whilst indulging the good life as explained above.

Our surprise baby is now 20 weeks and developing gorgeously!

The serious damage is done by long term users, meaning throughout the pregnancy. I’ve supported families affected by FAS through foster and adoption platforms and those children’s biological parents where really putting effort into getting that hit and/or getting legless. I have also supported families with children (same platform) who have have biological parents use substances/alcohol throughout pregnancy (not hardcore but very often all the way through) and not had their child diagnosed with FAS but other medical situations instead.

As a parent, to cause harm to your child, you would seriously be in an awful situation yourself. You have a heart, obviously by your post... Sometimes we don’t get to choose what is wrong with our little ones, but then we deal with it. But you let yourself feel guilty because you didn’t know and your doing your best now you do.

Your doctors and midwifes will give you the best advice around this. But I really don’t think you have anything to worry about, espescially if your scans are showing all good things! Congratulations and enjoy!

Hello, I normally never post anything here just pop in to read articles here and there but just want to reassure you that it is going to be fine. I was in exact same situation re drinking before knowing that I was pregnant. I usually don't drink much ,exercise regularly (I was member of HIIT club at work so used to do 3-4 HIIT and yoga/running through out the week) I have well balanced diet (cooked almost every meals including packed lunch with our weekly organic/free range delivery boxes)

But those few weeks before I knew I was pregnant I had my leaving do (finished my contract work and was planning to be on 2-3 months break before the next contract) , I also had a long day drinking at music festival with hubby (we started around 3pm throughout the night!) and of course I stopped when I found out. I have been blessed with no pregnancy symptom ,no morning sickness or emotional ups and downs due to hormone imbalance , no craving .. I have been continue eating the same food I have been eating. I'm now at 33 weeks at the age of 39 (Due date is around my 40th birthday!) the baby has a lovely heart rate and growing normally according to my midwife and senographer (we just had a private 'Wellbeing' scan last week and thing is looking good so far) and I am now still being able to do mild exercise , yoga and from time to time on stationary bike for spinning at home.

I'm still have several weeks to go so I'm also keeping my fingers and toes crossed for no complication but just want to reassure you that things will be fine and your doctor is totally right about the alcohol research as my midwife did provide similar information that majority of the cases have something to do with alcoholic mothers and severe addiction case which you are not, the most important thing is try not to get overly stressed in any stages of pregnancy , I guess the anxiety is also connected to the passing of your mum (I'm so sorry for your loss :'( ) as well as the body adjustment of hormone uprising but stress and anxiety increase stress hormone and suppress Oxytocin hormone which your baby and your body need the most during pregnancy. Keep exercise and stretching (under doctor/midwife supervision of course but if you have low risk pregnancy - exercise will keep your energy level up , increasing your blood flow, your placenta will functional very well for the baby and no swelling hands/legs due to water retention!) Yoga/Stretches will ease your back and round ligament pain in later stage of pregnancy. I still could touch my toes even though I have this watermelon right in the middle of my body! :)

Maybe some pregnancy massage , quality time with your partner (like date nights) and catching up with girl friends could help easing off the worrying and keep telling yourself that you are doing well and nothing to be worried about. Sorry for long post but you are doing great mama! xx

With my first child i had no idea it was over xmas i had alot to drink with xmas partys and newyears partys dont be ashamed yes it makes you feel bad but you didnt know but my first baby was born at 37 weeks at 7lbs 3oz healthy pregnancy she is fine she is 4 now it caused her no harm just try not to think about it you cant beat your self up all the way threw your pregnancy it isnt good for you hope you can enjoy the rest of your pregnancy

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