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I'm a heavy drinker; I just found I was 4 weeks pregnant, how do I know if my child will have fetal alcohol syndrome?

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I was a heavy/problem drinker before I found out I was pregnant at 4 weeks and 3 days after my last period. I would drink two to three drinks in the evenings and would consume entire bottles of wine on my own on the weekends. For example, when I was 4 weeks from my last period, I drank two bottles of wine by myself in one evening. I stopped drinking at 4 weeks and 3 days when I discovered I was pregnant. My question is - what is the likelihood that my child will have fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS) or fetal alcohol effects, and can any of the issues with FAS/FAE be detected via ultrasound?

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Category: Family Physician-GP
 18 Doctors Online


Yes, there are high chances fetus could have developed fetal hydantoin syndrome.

During the first trimester, that is till 10 weeks embryogenesis occurs or parts of body are being formed and fetus is growing and limb buds are formed. During this trimester alcohol, radiation or any drugs are usually avoided. During this period the embryogenesis can be affected by them. So there is a high chance the fetus is affected. There are many defects, including growth, facial dysmorphism; central nervous system can also be affected.

There are few methods to diagnose, by USG the height of fetus is measured and compared if this is the normal height for that gestation age. Usually height will be decreased. By USG, facial dysmorphism also can be identified.

Thank you.

Dr. John Monheit
Category: Family Physician-GP
Residecny: North Colorado Family Medicine
Medical School: The Chicago Medical Center
Dr. John Monheit and 4 other Medical Specialists are ready to help you

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