Alcohol and Unknown Pregnancy

QUESTION

Dear Midwife,
I just took a pregnancy test that was positive. I had my daughter 9 months ago and have not had a regular period since. One month I will get and the next I won't. Therefore, I had no idea I was pregnant and have no idea how far along I am.

My concern is that my husband and I went on vacation last week and did drink alcohol 4 out of the 7 nights we were there. Should I be worried about FAS? My last period was in January, so I could be as far as 8 weeks. What can I do to make sure the baby is okay?

ANSWER

There is no way to tell for sure, but it is unlikely that damage was done this early. As long as you don't drink anything at all for the rest of your pregnancy there is a good chance that everything will be ok.

All women at risk for pregnancy should act as if they already are pregnant, but that doesn't help you now, I know. I do wish you a happy pregnancy and a healthy delivery.

-- Cynthia, CNM. PhD.

Cynthia Flynn

Cynthia Flynn, CNM. PhD, is the General Director of the Family Health and Birth Center which provides prenatal, birth, postnatal, gynecological and primary health care to underserved women and their families in Washington, D.C. Recently Cynthia served as Associate Professor of Nursing at Seattle University. There she not only taught, but remained in full scope clinical midwifery practice at Valley Medical Center where she cared for pregnant and birthing women, and practices well-woman gynecology, family planning, and treatment of sexually transmitted diseases.

Cynthia founded Columbia Women's Clinic and Birth Center, where she took care of pregnant women and infants up to two weeks of age and attended both birth center and hospital births. Before Cynthia earned her CNM, she worked as a registered nurse in labor and delivery and postpartum and is a certified Doula and Doula trainer.