Experts recommend that women start a pregnancy diet up to three months before they begin trying to conceive, and this means cutting out the alcohol.
In reality, however, many women are caught out by not realising they are pregnant.
Once that little blue line appears on the test confirming your pregnancy, you will be filled with horror at all the things you have done while pregnant.
By the time your healthcare provider hands you the list of things not to eat during pregnancy, you'll have worked yourself into a stupor worrying about the vast quantities of pâté you ate last weekend.
There are lots of things you aren't supposed to do during pregnancy, and chances are you did at least a few of them before realising you were pregnant.
Drinking Alcohol Before Finding Out You Are Pregnant
Whether you drank a small glass of red with dinner, or a (ahem) little more than that at a birthday party, try not to worry about the alcohol you drank before finding out you were pregnant. It is unlikely that this will have harmed your baby. There is nothing to be gained from months of worrying, so try to put this issue to the back of your mind. Try to focus your efforts on eating a healthy, balanced diet from now on, to make sure your developing baby is receiving all the right nutrients. The baby's placenta does not start functioning immediately after conception (it takes several weeks afterwards), so it may be some relief to hear if you found out early on.
Your healthcare provider is best placed to offer advice tailored to your situation, so make sure they're in the know. During your first prenatal appointment, come clean and let your healthcare provider how much you were drinking and when. It won't be the first time your healthcare provider has been faced with a worried mama's confession, and it certainly won't be the last. Your healthcare provider will be able to reassure you that you needn't worry about the alcohol that passed your lips before you knew you were pregnant.
Abstaining In Future
Instead of wasting time worrying about past drinks, focus your efforts on choosing a healthy lifestyle during pregnancy. One of the most important steps you can take, is to abstain from alcohol during pregnancy. Research studies have proven that alcohol consumption during pregnancy is linked with birth defects, but experts are not yet sure how much alcohol is safe. Many experts now recommend abstaining from alcohol entirely for the duration of the pregnancy.
Do not waste your efforts worrying and feeling stressed over those couple of drinks. It's important to try and keep your stress levels to a minimum during pregnancy. Instead of worrying about something you can't change, pour your efforts into something you can – join a prenatal yoga class, up your water intake, and spend some time bonding with your unborn baby.