Every woman nowadays knows that drinking is not good for pregnancy, but what if you drink alcohol before you know you are pregnant? Many women may not plan to have kids by consuming birth control pills or using contraceptive devices. Others may not be aware that they are pregnant because there are no signs. As consequences, these women can drink alcohol without knowing that they are already pregnant. Since drinking alcohol can cause some health problems and birth defects on babies, what should you do if you experience the same thing?
What to Know about Drinking and Early Pregnancy
A lot of women do not know that they are pregnant until the baby is about three weeks old, in which the women may start experiencing the signs such as nausea, morning sickness, and physical changes. On this stage, the baby has also started developing important tissues and organs. While this seems like a very dangerous time for drinking when pregnant, the studies about this matter were still inconclusive.
Some experts agreed that drinking at early stage of pregnancy causes important cells (especially brain cells) of the baby deteriorate. Drinking has been proven as a cause of various problems, such as Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, Fetal Alcohol Effects, birth defects, and such. However, other experts agreed that a little alcohol intake during the very early stage of pregnancy (the time when your pregnancy test still does not show any positive result) is still okay. This probably could be small relief for pregnant women who accidentally drink alcohol before they know they are pregnant. Plus, pregnancy test kits nowadays are more sensitive, so they can detect pregnancy earlier and prompt you to take early preventive acts.
Nevertheless, drinking while pregnant is still very dangerous. Therefore, make sure you take the right steps once you are ready to get pregnant.
What to Do after Accidentally Drinking when Pregnant
Ideally, women who plan to get pregnant should already stop drinking, smoking, and other potentially harmful behaviors. However, if the circumstances do not allow it, you should take immediate action. Once you find out that you are pregnant, and you realize that you have consumed alcoholic drink before, visit your doctor immediately. Explain in details about how much you have consumed, when you realized you are pregnant, and what solutions you can take to avoid the worst. Avoid getting stressed out over it, and work together with your doctor or midwife to make sure that the baby is healthy.
Some women may feel embarrassed when telling about their behaviors to the doctor, including the drinking habit. However, when it comes to health and pregnancy, being embarrassed is not an option. Make sure you tell everything to the doctor truthfully, and inform him or her about how much you have drunk and how often. The more detailed your information, the easier it is for the doctor to decide what steps you should take to keep the baby healthy.
Pregnancy and drinking do not go hand in hand, but if you accidentally drink when pregnant, there are still solutions to prevent the negative effects on your baby.