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Pregnancy VS Drinking

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Old 06-02-2009, 01:29 AM   #1
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Western Australia
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Numb_one HB User
Pregnancy VS Drinking

Hi there,

I wasn't sure where to post this & didn't want to post it on the pregnancy or miscarriage board as i know a lot of the women on those boards have been through a lot to get pregnant & i didn't want to offend anyone or upset anyone.

My friend recently found out she was pregnant & told myself & a few others close to her that she was pregnant. The pregnancy wasn't planned but she was happy to keep the baby as she already has an 18 month old daughter & her & her husband didn't mind having a second child.

She's always been a drinker & i've often wondered if she is an alcoholic because she doesn't go 1 day without 1 beer at the very least..... sometimes up to 6+ a night. So when she found out she was pregnant i assumed she'd stopped drinking, until she mentioned she doens't know how i don't drink at all & that she wouldn't be able to do it. She said she went to her in-laws & had a catch up with relatives & they kept offering her beers & that she stopped after 2. I couldn't believe my ears.... they knew she was pregnant. Are they stupid??? So i questioned her & she said that her father is a doctor & he said one or two is fine. I continued to tell her that she is putting an innocent child at risk & that i would never be able to get away with what she is doing, being a victim of miscarriage & losing a child that we had tried for & loved & done everything right for.

To that she just said "Ohhhhhhhhh... yeh i know. Some people just do everything right & they just lose them blah blah blah". It just didn't seem to sink in! It was like i was talking to a brick wall!

Anyhow a week later she was having some abdominal pain & had a bit of pink fluid, so they sent her for an ultrasound where they discovered that the baby didn't appear to be the right size for the sac, however it had a heartbeat! At this stage, she thought she was 8 & a half weeks, however they put her measurements at approximately 6 & a half weeks & advised her to prepare for the worst as she may be having a threatened miscarriage.

I felt soooo sorry for her, even though i'd been so mad at her for drinking in the first place, but wanted to just focus on her baby making it, so i told her she should have the next day off & i would look after her little girl for her while she rested up. But NO.... she went to work the next day & then invited us for tea that night & i accepted because i wanted to check on her & see if she was alright & maybe try to get throught to her about the drinking issue should it arise again. And sure enough........ another of her friends arrived with a bottle of wine in hand & poured her one (Well aware that she was pregnant).

I was sooooo annoyed & pointed out that she shouldn't be drinking & that her friend shouldn't be encouraging it either. To this she said again that her father says it's fine to have one or two & she also talked to her brother in law who works in the A&E & he says it's fine aswell. She went on to say that she drank the same throughout her first pregnancy & that her daughter turned out fine & i argued that the effects won't neccessarily be evident now & that research has shown that children who's parent's drink while pregnant often have problems focusing during their primary years & therefore their education suffers from this. BUT...... she still drank the glass of wine!

I mean, i wouldn't mind so much over 1 glass of wine if that was all it was, but that was only one night. Other nights it's 1 or 2 beers. Every night. She isn't a rough person. She's just your run of the mill 30 year old that if you passed her on the street you wouldn't think that she would do this. Your first thought would be well presented, professional woman. It's only because we became good friends through antenatal classes that i got to know more of what goes on behind closed doors. For our other friends from antenatal who we don't see as much of, they'd just think she drank on special occasions when we catch up or just weekends.

So long story short...... she started bleeding on Saturday morning & then by lunchtime she had miscarried & passed the feotus & some clots, so it was obvious that it was all over.

She rang me upset & i tried to comfort her & she is going in tonight for her D&C. But i just don't think she's even making the connection that perhaps her drinking could have caused this. I'm not saying it definately did, just that it's a possibility & atleast if she hadn't have been drinking & this still happened, then she would have had the knowledge that she'd done everything she could possibly do.

It just hurts because i lost my baby at 17 weeks after not having one sip of alcohol even while i was trying to fall pregnant with her...... & people can do things soooo wrong & purposely harm an innocent life..... or end up with a healthy baby after doing such things.

Can anyone please shed some light on this for me & also if you have any input on what is/isn't safe consumption of alcohol whilst pregnant. All i've ever heard is the negatives & bad stories of it, the research that states that it DOES harm unborn children.



Last edited by Numb_one; 06-02-2009 at 01:39 AM.

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Old 06-02-2009, 07:21 AM   #2
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Re: Pregnancy VS Drinking

I'm sorry about your loss and then having to see your friend through this. I couldn't say if the alcohol had anything to do with it because reality is, there are many miscarriages that just occur. A good number of conceptions just won't make it to the birth stage and I know it's hard to lose them but sometimes nature or God knows best. That doesn't make it hurt any less though. I totally understand how it might feel to have to watch someone willingly jeopardize a pregnancy, try to talk them into healthy choices and then listen to them after they've lost the pregnancy. It takes a big person to have not just left her after the miscarriage especially when it brings back so much hurt for you.

Old 06-02-2009, 05:48 PM   #3
Join Date: Dec 2006
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Numb_one HB User
Re: Pregnancy VS Drinking


It's good to have someone to talk to about this, as no one that i know knows about her drinking while pregnant & i don't want to mention it to them, as we share a few friends & i also don't want my other friends to judge her. I just want an honest opinion from people who are on the outside.

Last edited by Numb_one; 06-02-2009 at 05:48 PM.

Old 06-02-2009, 08:14 PM   #4
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Choice HB User
Re: Pregnancy VS Drinking

The CDC (Center for Disease Control) says, "When a pregnant woman drinks alcohol, so does her unborn baby. There is no known safe amount of alcohol to drink while pregnant."

That's pretty clear. Not all doctors graduate at the top of their class, and obviously her father didn't. Ask any school teacher about kids with fetal alcohol syndrome. These children have issues that were 100% preventable.

You are an awesome friend. Hopefully, if she becomes pregnant again, she will heed your wisdom.

Old 06-02-2009, 08:40 PM   #5
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Numb_one HB User
Re: Pregnancy VS Drinking

Thankyou sooo much Choice! I think i needed to hear that.

That's actually what i said to her when she first said that her father said that a couple is ok. I said "Well your Dad's not very smart then is he?" & she kinda gave me a bit of a surprised look & then shrugged it off, because i went on to say that i'd never get away with such an act.

It's a well known fact that alcohol does affect an unborn child so why she didn't give it her best shot & stop drinking i don't know! She may have still lost the baby, as it may have been a natural miscarriage, but atleast i wouldn't be thinking it's because of the alcohol. I doubt she's even given that possibility a second thought.

And why her husband stood by, knowing that she was drinking i don't know. He mustn't be all there seriously.

Also, just to add, her immediate family are all in another country to where she lives, so she only has her in-laws here. So the two people (being her father & brother-in-law) that told her it's ok are both in the UK. Maybe they have different views over there to here, but to be honest..... isn't it just common knowledge? Across the board practice?

Old 06-03-2009, 12:29 PM   #6
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shisslak HB Usershisslak HB Usershisslak HB Usershisslak HB Usershisslak HB Usershisslak HB Usershisslak HB User
Re: Pregnancy VS Drinking

Numb one

I am sorry for the loss of your little girl--I too suffered a miscarriage after the birth of my first child. I was never able to conceive after that. I often punish myself for waiting to have a second child because I never wanted any of my children to not have everything. Like yourself, I ate right and never so much as took a tylenol for a headache I was so afraid of harming my child. However, it really depends upon who you talk to--some prominent ob/gyn will tell you that having one beer or one glass of wine is really fine. Other prominent ob/gyn will tell you that under no uncertain terms may you have any alcohol. They also tell you not to have anything that contains caffaine, smoke or eat raw or uncooked fish. You are also told not to eat hamburgers unless they are cooked completely as to resemble a hockey puck. Everything is research and depending what day it is, the research will be different from the day before. My rule of thumb is, it is your body and if you choose to create a life, than you need to deal with the results of your decisions. Like you, I wanted a healthy baby, so I did everything in my power to insure that result. However, as you know so unfortuately that no matter what you do, some times we do not get what we wish.

You have been a very good friend, however, you are not your friends keeper and she must make her own decisions. You need to respect her for who she is and if you are unable to do this than it is time to end the friendship and wish her well. Do not get your feathers ruffled because of what someone else does with their life.

Good luck on the pending arrival of your bundle. I noticed on your last post that your wrote edd 12-1-07, I am assuming you meant 12-1-09.

Last edited by shisslak; 06-03-2009 at 12:33 PM.

Old 06-03-2009, 08:50 PM   #7
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Numb_one HB User
Re: Pregnancy VS Drinking

Hi Shisslak,

Thankyou for your post. You're right. At the end of the day, it's her body & her decision. It's just disappointing that's all!

And no, the dates were correct on my last post, but i haven't updated the signature yet (which i should do as it's been over a year), so my baby girl arrived healthy on November 29th 2007(2 days before her EDD). And we are currently trying for baby number 2, which will be pregnancy number 3 due to my late miscarriage at 17 weeks in December of 2006.

Thanks again for your views. Perhaps i should take a backseat & just be there for my mate & hope that she is more careful next time, but not force my opinions on her.


Old 06-03-2009, 09:44 PM   #8
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Re: Pregnancy VS Drinking

I want to point out that in Europe drinking wine isnt shocking for women to do while pregnant. Their rates of FAS aren't an issue there.
There are doctors who do agree that one or two drinks aren't going to make an impact on the developing baby. And no they aren't doctors who were at the bottom of their class. When they say that they also point out that would be one or two for the entire pregnancy not one or two a night.
With both my sons I had some wine while pregnant and both have been fine. Matter of fact with my first son I found out a few weeks before my 21st birthday. We had been doing some early celebrating and had several nights of being totally drunk. At my first appt after finding out I was pregnant I told my doctor. He was very reassuring and comforting. As I already said things are fine with my oldest son.
Granted there are no studies to show what amount is the wrong amount so many err of the side of over cautious and say any amount is bad.
You can try talking to her and let her know again that you are concerned but in the end as it has been pointed out it is her body and her choice.
Married 3/25/95
DS 13 yr
DS 8 yr (3+ yrs ttc)
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Old 06-03-2009, 10:29 PM   #9
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Numb_one HB User
Re: Pregnancy VS Drinking


That's right, i wouldn't mind if it were just one or two during her entire pregnancy, but it's 1 or 2 per night, which from everything i've read is not too good for the baby, as any amount of alcohol crosses past the placenta & can affect the baby's development or even cause miscarriage.

I also know a lot of people who have had many drunk nights, only to find out they are pregnant & i have nothing against that, as they were unaware & stopped drinking once they knew, but it's just the fact that she knew she was pregnant, even that she was classed threatened miscarriage..... & she continued to drink 1 or 2 a night.

I was told by my Obstetrician when i was concerned about the fact that i had eaten processed salami when i was early on in my pregnancy before i knew i was pregnant & he said that it shouldn't be a problem because the baby feeds off the yolk sac during the first 6 weeks anyway until the placenta forms & then the feotus draws all it's nourishment from the placenta. So drinking before you find out most probably won't affect your baby as it's still feeding from the yolk sac (unless you don't find out til after 6 weeks), & even then, even if it's only a little bit i'm sure it wouldn't make too much difference. But it's the fact that she continued drinking an unsafe amount.

From what i've read on the studies, they say there's no hard evidence to suggest 1 or 2 units of alcohol, no more than once or twice per week has an affect on an unborn child, but any more than that is not a good thing for a developing feotus. Therefore, i think her father failed to tell her that 1 or 2 once or twice a week is fine ....... not realising when she says she drinks socially, that it's every night, regardless of whether she has people over or not.

But i do agree with you all that it's her body & i've done all i can to educate her. I just wish her family & friends would unite & stop offering her drinks, because they knew she was pregnant & if she's the type of person that is easily swayed (which she is), then it's hard enough to say no as it is, without being encouraged.


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