Alcohol use in early pregnancy
Can I drink alcohol during pregnancy in the early stages or not? And what if alcoholic beverages were consumed when pregnancy was not known, that is, in the first weeks after conception?
Alcohol in early pregnancy, and in principle, as in any other, is dangerous for the child. Its use in the first weeks of pregnancy often provokes miscarriages or cessation of the development of the ovum or embryo. When used in large quantities – the development of fetal alcohol syndrome is possible – this is a whole spectrum of symptoms that characterizes a child who has suffered physical and mental injury due to his mother’s drinking alcohol during his gestation. By the way, all this is incurable. A child is born disabled in mental and mental development.
Hearing these “horror stories”, many women who have already given birth say that alcohol and smoking during pregnancy are not so terrible. After all, different alcoholics and drug addicts give birth, and nothing, in appearance healthy children. But in fact, everything is not so simple. There is such a thing as the fetal alcohol spectrum of disorders – when a child has only a part of the symptoms characteristic of fetal syndrome. And they are usually perceived as a feature of development. This is a child with no outstanding mental abilities, slowed down or, conversely, hyperactive, with attention deficit, lagging behind in development from their peers.
But if he, a child, is born at all. How alcohol affects early pregnancy in more detail.
Alcohol in any trimester very quickly penetrates to the child than the placental barrier and lingers in his body for a long time, causing numerous disorders, including lack of oxygen. It is especially dangerous, one can even say that it is fatal for the embryo, alcohol use during pregnancy at an early period is 2-3 weeks from conception. That is, the beginning of the delay in the mother and the first 1-2 weeks after that. Alcohol has a teratogenic effect, stronger than drugs, even, according to many scientists.
The effect of alcohol on the development of the fetus in the womb (video):
How alcohol affects the development of the fetus in the womb.
If strong alcohol was drunk in the early stages before the delay, but only in a minimal amount, it usually doesn’t end with anything bad if conception does occur. During this period, the menstrual cycle only occurs fertilization of the egg and its wandering through the fallopian tubes. That is, there is no direct connection between the mother and the child. And if the fertilized egg still attached to the wall of the uterus and began to develop, then, most likely, everything will end safely. No harm was done to the child.
What if I didn’t know that I was pregnant and drank alcohol in the earliest stages of pregnancy, do I need to interrupt it and tell the doctor about it? In fact, in the first weeks after conception, the principle of “all or nothing.” And if alcohol really did harm the child, then such a pregnancy will be interrupted by itself. If not, then you just need to strictly follow the standard recommendations of the doctor. And this is an obligatory intake of folic acid for the prevention of pathologies of the child’s neural tube, the intake of potassium iodide for the prevention of iodine deficiency. It is also necessary to pass an analysis on TSH, to check whether there is hypothyroidism. And if the level of this hormone is high – start taking special medications. After all, hypothyroidism can also lead to the birth of a child with low mental abilities.
Plus, be sure to undergo screenings at the end of the first trimester of pregnancy and in the second, including blood tests and ultrasound. If alcohol affected the child, then, most likely, the manifestations will be visible already then.
In the future, during pregnancy, alcohol should be completely excluded. There is a common opinion that small amounts of alcohol can be consumed. But there are no studies that would prove that specifically this dose, specifically this alcoholic beverage will not adversely affect the fetus. The dangerous effects of ethanol have been proven in animal experiments. But to conduct such experiments on future mothers for ethical reasons, of course, is impossible. Therefore, alcohol must be completely abandoned. And it’s too bad that most gynecologists do not consider it necessary to conduct such preventive conversations with their patients. But this is very important, given the huge amount of conflicting information on this topic and the consequences that threaten the use of alcohol.
All future mothers would like to wish that, as soon as they noticed the first signs of pregnancy in the early stages, and they may appear even before the start of menstruation, they immediately take themselves in hand and give up bad habits. Well, even better – to abandon them before pregnancy. And the future fathers, too.