Drinking before I knew I was pregnant

Patient

Q: I found out I was pregnant after I was 5 weeks along. I had no idea. I am 29 and this will be my second child. I had been drinking--more than usual--before I found out (it was my husbands 30th, we bought a new house, we had a couple other major events). I drank quite a bit each time. I am now terrified for my baby. Will he or she be okay?

Doctor

A:   I understand how concerned you are about your baby’s health. It is difficult to predict what amount of alcohol will harm your baby. If you drink during pregnancy there is certainly a risk for the baby to develop fetal alcohol syndrome. Binge drinking is especially bad for the developing baby.
Your baby may have a range of disabilities ranging from physical, mental to social and mental disorders. Children with fetal alcohol syndrome may be small and may have learning or behavior problems.
I would suggest that you see your doctor and comply with pre-natal measures to evaluate your baby' health. It is recommended that you take pre-natal vitamins, especially folic acid which is required for the development of the nervous system of the baby.

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