It can happen to anyone. You weren’t trying to get pregnant, but now your period is late and you can’t stop thinking about the drinks you enjoyed with your friends this past Saturday. Maybe you already know that you’re pregnant, but a friend convinced you that it’s okay to have a glass of wine (or two) early in pregnancy.
Whatever your situation, you may be concerned about the damage drinking during pregnancy can cause. We understand how scary a moment like this can be. That’s why we’re exploring what can happen if you drink early in and during pregnancy.
Can Alcohol Affect a Pregnancy Test?
If you’re experiencing pregnancy symptoms, the first step is to take a pregnancy test. If you need a free pregnancy test and hope to speak with someone in confidence about your concerns, call or text us for help now.
But, what if you’ve been drinking recently? Could the alcohol in your system affect the results? The short answer is no—alcohol itself doesn’t affect your results. However, alcohol can cause dehydration, which may make you want to drink more water. Drinking too much water can dilute the urine, making it difficult for a pregnancy test to detect your hCG levels. If you’ve been drinking and feel dehydrated, you may want to wait until your fluid intake returns to normal so that you can get accurate results.
Don’t want to take this first step alone? Consider visiting EPS! If you’ve already taken a pregnancy test and want to confirm your pregnancy with an ultrasound, you also can get that at no cost with us. Request your appointment now online.
I Drank Before I Knew I Was Pregnant. What Should I Do?
The good news is that a little drinking early on is unlikely to cause any harm. However, it’s crucial to stop drinking immediately once you know you’re pregnant. The sooner you stop drinking, the healthier your baby will be!
Don’t be afraid to reach out to your healthcare provider to talk about your concerns. Attend regular prenatal checkups to monitor the health and development of your pregnancy.
Can You Drink Alcohol While Pregnant?
Although a little alcohol early in pregnancy isn’t usually a huge cause for alarm, you should not continue to drink during pregnancy. There’s no “safe amount” to drink, nor is there a “safe kind” of alcohol to drink during pregnancy. Even if you don’t drink often, drinking a lot in one sitting can cause serious harm.
Research shows that alcohol appears to be the most harmful during the first three months of pregnancy, but drinking at any point during pregnancy can still be very dangerous. The safest thing to do is to avoid alcohol altogether for the remainder of your pregnancy.
Can Drinking Alcohol Cause a Miscarriage? How Much Alcohol Causes Fetal Alcohol Syndrome?
Drinking any amount of alcohol during pregnancy can lead to severe consequences. For example:
- Drinking moderate amounts of alcohol during pregnancy is known to cause miscarriage.
- Binge drinking (having more than five drinks in one sitting) significantly increases a baby’s risk of sustaining alcohol-related damage.
- Drinking heavily (having more than 2 drinks a day) increases the risk of giving birth to a child with fetal alcohol syndrome.
These conditions are preventable if a baby isn’t exposed to alcohol before birth. If you want to maintain a healthy pregnancy but cannot stop drinking, there are ways to get help. Speak to your healthcare provider or contact your local alcohol treatment center to get started.
Unexpected Pregnancy Support in Omaha, NE
We understand—an unexpected pregnancy can be stressful enough without the fear that something has already gone wrong. You don’t have to face any of this alone. Essential Pregnancy Services (EPS) provides free pregnancy confirmation services, so you can get the care and support you need!
1.Common foods and drinks: What can affect a pregnancy test result? Clearblue. (2022, September 29). Retrieved from https://www.clearblue.com/pregnancy-tests/what-can-affect-a-pregnancy-test-result#
2. Alcohol and Women. ACOG | American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. (2021, December). Retrieved from https://www.acog.org/womens-health/faqs/alcohol-and-women
3. U.S. National Library of Medicine. (2022, January 10). Alcohol and pregnancy. MedlinePlus. Retrieved from https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/007454.htm
4. Alcohol and Pregnancy Questions and Answers. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2022, November 14). Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/fasd/faqs.html