How does alcohol affect your baby - and what if you had a drink before you knew you were pregnant? Obstetrical Nurse Wanda F Steele has some information to help address your concerns.
Wanda Steele, RNC

How does alcohol affect your baby - and what if you had a drink before you knew you were pregnant? Obstetrical Nurse Wanda F Steele has some information to help address your concerns.Your question
My husband and I had friends over for a party at out house and I drank about three beers that afternoon. I just found out that I am pregnant. I believe I conceived the baby one or two days prior to those three beers. I am so nervous that I harmed the embryo. What do you think? - Karley and Shirley

The expert answers
We certainly do not advocate drinking alcohol of any kind during a pregnancy, BUT in your case, let's look at your timing. If you got pregnant one or two days before you had the beers, the embryo was not yet implanted in the uterus and did not receive any of the effects of the alcohol that you had to drink. Consequently, there should be no effects on the embryo due to your night of partying.

Even though years ago, our mothers had seemingly healthy children while they were smoking and drinking, these things have been proven to be associated with risks that were probably not even recognized in those days.

You are apparently aware that alcohol is not recommended at any time during a pregnancy and can be associated with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. The babies are usually small, can be born prematurely and can be affected with mental difficulties.

Babies born to smoking mothers are also usually smaller. Smoking can also be associated with premature rupture of the membranes leading to premature birth. Nicotine constricts the blood vessels and allows less blood flow to the placenta.

Healthy babies are born to healthy mothers. If you smoke or drink, I would recommend that you stop them before becoming pregnant, or, at the very least, decrease them to the best of your ability. Preconceptual care is very important. If you do intend to practice these habits while pregnant, be sure that your caregiver is informed, so that they can monitor the health of your baby. The choice is yours.

Wanda :)

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