Pregnancy and alcohol

Patient

Q: Hi there I found out I am pregnant at 12 weeks. Unfortunately I consumed a large amount of alcohol in the first 12 weeks due to personal issues and the fact that's didn't know I was pregnant. I am so worried my baby has fetal alcohol syndrome or I have damaged it in some way, is there a test that can be done to find out.

Doctor

A:   At 12 weeks of pregnancy you can undergo a first trimester screening to check if there are any abnormalities that may have developed in the fetus. This includes a blood test known as the double marker test and a nuchal translucency scan.
This can be followed by a detail examination for anomalies at 16 -20 weeks known as the congenital anomaly scan. If no abnormalities are picked up by then you can safely assume that you are not at a very high risk for fetal anomalies.
I recommend that you mention consuming alcohol to your obstetrician as he/she may be able to prescribe you these screening tests as well as help you prepare in advance for any complications that may result during child birth as a result of the same. I would also recommend that you take adequate folic acid supplements for prevention of neural tube defects if you are already not on it.
Wish you all the best with the tests. Hope you and your baby remain in the best of health.

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