I didn't know I have been pregnant for one month (to be exact, the last time I had sex with my husband was about 40 days ago). Just a few days ago, I found my menstruation stoped and after medical checking I found I am pregnant. However, due to non-awareness of it, in the past month, I had alcohol consumption, but only once. The amount of alcohol is about 400ml Chinese white wine (concentration ~= 40%).

I searched a lot on the Internet these days about the risk to the fetus. Many webpages told that there will be more or less risk to the fetus, including physical and mental defects. For example, as this webpage says:

When you drink, alcohol passes from your blood through placenta to a baby and can stunt fetal growth, facial deformities, damage neurons and brain structures which can result in intellectual disability and also cause other physical damage.

However, I don't know whether it is applied to a fetus so early after pregnancy, such as my case only one month. As I understand, currently the "fetus" may still be simple cells.

Could anyone tell me the risk? I am so afraid now.

  • 2
    Can you specify exactly when that alcohol consumption was? If it was before implantation, answering this question gets a lot easier :-)
    – YviDe
    Nov 6, 2015 at 20:53

1 Answer 1


First Trimester:

It's especially important to steer clear of alcohol in the first trimester, because of the risk of miscarriage. Drinking at this time has also been associated with a higher rate of premature birth.

The first trimester is week 1 to week 12.


Many women have a few drinks before realising they are pregnant. Babies have a habit of turning up when they're least expected, and many babies conceived around the time of a night out drinking have been fine.

So some statements that can be made are:

  • First trimester alcohol can lead to premature births mostly.

  • Third trimester alcohol can lead to the symptoms that you described. Especially, due to the fact that the brain is developing.

Is there a safe time to drink alcohol in pregnancy?

No. There is no safe time in pregnancy to drink alcohol. The baby’s brain develops the whole way through pregnancy and can be effected by alcohol at any stage of its development.

Is there a safe amount of alcohol in pregnancy?

No. There is no safe amount of alcohol to drink in pregnancy. Some babies can even be effected by a little bit of alcohol (1 or 2 standard drinks once a week) Small occasional alcohol use in pregnancy = low risk to the developing baby Heavy frequent alcohol use in pregnancy = high risk to the developing baby No alcohol = no risk to the developing baby

What effect does alcohol have on a fetus? - Any amount can harm a fetus, but more severe damage is related to heavy drinking. Heavy amounts depend on size of person and drink.

What can be done for drinking while pregnant:

  • Stop drinking if pregnant or trying to get pregnant.

  • Contact healthcare provider if alcohol was consumed to know about the risks to your baby.

  • 1
    Although your answer looks factually correct and well sourced, I think it reads as overly alarming and doesn't really answer her question. The question is specifically what risk that single instance poses, not what risk continued drinking poses.
    – Carey Gregory
    Apr 24, 2016 at 16:28

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