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Hi, It's Dr. C. Board certified Ob-gyne with 30+ years of experience. I can help you today.
I'm sorry that you're having this worry right now but am glad to hear that you talked to your OB about it. I agree with your OB. This is one of the most common questions we get about the time from conception until a woman realizes she's pregnant.
Until about 10-14 days after conception, there is no connection of the embryo to a womans blood stream. The embryo is free floating with no connection until implantation starts at about 10 days post-conception. Implantation takes about 7 days. So really until 14 days after conception, there is VERY limited connection to the blood stream and any alcohol that may have been ingested.
So try not to worry about this anymore and follow up with any concerns with your OB. She sounds right on track with this.
I hope this was reassuring and helpful. Please reply if I can clarify anything. Good luck with the rest of the pregnancy.
Yes, I did realize there is a few days overlap. But the degree of connection to the mothers blood stream during those few days is quite minimal. So I do agree with your doctor about this. It's an extremely common situation. Fetal alcohol syndrome will NOT develop from a situation like you describe. The organs have not started developing yet at that stage and certainly not the nervous system. So congenital abnormalities and brain issues that are found with alcohol in pregnancy aren't a concern with a situation like you describe.
Yes during that time, the blood vessels are in the very early stages of development and there isn't even really a placenta yet. The purpose of the yolk sac is to serve as a "heart" for the embryo until the internal heart inside the embryo develops at around 4-5 weeks after conception.
Here is a link to a detailed description of the timeline of when maternal alcohol can transfer to the embryo and the expected effects:
This should be helpful.
The overlap of just a few days into the 3rd conception week really is a minimal time frame for damage. Would you like me to opt out and get a neurologist to help you with the question?
They may be able to give you more reassurance that your baby isn't likely to have been impacted by the situation you're describing.
There is no neurologist on-line right now but if you don't reply to me, your question will go into cue for them when they log-in. Good luck.
I see that no neurologist has been on-line to take your question.
I want to reassure you again that the few days of high alcohol intake very shortly after implantation is VERY VERY unlikely to cause any significant abnormalities. The situation you describe is incredibly common and both your own OB and I are in agreement. If you're feeling uncomfortable about it, it may be best to terminate the pregnancy but the chances are incredibly high that if you take good care of yourself and have a healthy relationship with your partner and the child, all will be well.
Please reply if I can clarify anything else. I wish you the best of luck no matter what.
You're welcome. I think you'll find a conversation with a specialist reassuring. It's highly unlikely that there would be any physical manifestations of alcohol exposure. Also a few days of exposure are not likely do have any measurable impact on behavior, development or psychological health either.
There wouldn't be any testing possible that could rule out issues until the second trimester. A full anatomic survey could do a thorough scan of the entire body and structure of the brain. Behavioral, developmental and psychological impacts could not be detected until after birth. But by far a supportive environment and attention would be expected to have a much greater impact than the alcohol exposure that you describe provided there is no more alcohol exposure for the remainder of the pregnancy.
Anything else I can help with?
I've referred your question to a specific neurologist. If they don't reply, it most likely means that they have nothing to add to what I've already explained.
The reality is that there is no way of really knowing if there may be some subtle impacts of the alcohol intake your described. The key point is that you stopped alcohol intake quickly so exposure was of very short duration at a time that the blood connection to the embryo was just starting to develop.
Much more important is what happens from here on. No more alcohol exposure, staying away from any other toxins, eating well, exercising and maintaining good relationships and support systems will FAR outweigh any potential effects that may have occurred.
Obviously it's up to you to determine how you feel about the unplanned nature of the pregnancy and the exposure that did occur.
I really do hope that this information is reassuring and helpful to you. Let me know if I can clarify anything. I want to be sure you have the most helpful information for your situation.
The neurologist declined to add anything to what I've written.
I hope the service I've provided in trying to help you has been satisfactory. Let me know if I can research anything or add more details. Good luck.
It's Dr. C. checking in on how things are going. I hope you're feeling more reassured.