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”I Was Drinking Alcohol Before I Knew I Was Pregnant”

Many women go about their life as usual prior to finding out they are pregnant. This may include drinking alcohol during the time between conception and having a positive pregnancy test result. You may be concerned that alcohol consumption potentially affected the development of your pregnancy, or wonder if it’s even safe for it to continue. What happens when you drink alcohol before knowing you were pregnant? What are your next steps?

Avenue Women’s Center is a limited medical clinic offering free services to women facing unexpected pregnancy in the Chicagoland area. If you are concerned you may be pregnant, confirm your results today with one of our medical-grade pregnancy tests, accurate just 10 days after possible conception. Additionally, our pregnancy consultations provide you with accurate information on all your pregnancy options, including abortion, adoption, and parenting. Contact us today for these services and more at one of our five DuPage County locations.

If you consumed alcohol before you knew you were pregnant, or you are currently concerned you might be pregnant and have been drinking, there’s information that could be beneficial to know. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) has provided some helpful information regarding alcohol consumption and pregnancy.

  1. It’s important to stop drinking right away after determining you are pregnant. Even if you are considering your options or leaning towards abortion, this is a helpful tip. Alcohol can impact your health leading up to and following an abortion. It is recommended that women do not drink alcohol prior to an abortion procedure. Additionally, alcohol should not be consumed while taking antibiotics that are often prescribed after an abortion to prevent infection.
  2. If you did consume alcohol during pregnancy and are planning to carry to term, or even slightly considering the option, it’s important to talk to your health care provider right away. Prenatal care is always recommended.
  3. ANY type of alcohol can cause Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. No amount of consumption in any form is recommended. There is no cure for Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. Keep this in mind when considering the consumption of alcohol while pregnant.
  4. If you are unable to quit drinking, there are lots of resources available to you. Please contact your medical provider, Alcoholics Anonymous, or a local treatment center.

Many women discover they are pregnant very early on, often soon after a missed period. Others may not find out until later, possibly due to a lack of pregnancy symptoms, an irregular menstrual cycle, or any number of factors. As a result, certain lifestyle changes may not take place until after they are already pregnant. This is common. The important thing is to make changes as soon as possible and talk to a medical professional right away.

Are you concerned you might be pregnant? Find out your results today with a free pregnancy test at Avenue Women’s Center. Perhaps you already know you are pregnant, but aren’t sure about what to do next. Our expert staff is here to provide with all the information you need regarding your pregnancy options in a supportive, nonjudgmental environment. Call, chat, email, or text for a free appointment right away! We are here for you!


  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). (2019, March). Alcohol and Pregnancy Questions and Answers. Retrieved from
  • March of Dimes. (2016, April). Alcohol During Pregnancy. Retrieved from

Reviewed by Patricia Kuenzi, APN-CNP, MSN, ANP, PNP.

The information provided here is general in nature.  It is not a substitute for a consultation with a medical professional. Before any medical procedure, it is imperative that you discuss your personal medical history, risks, and concerns with your doctor. If you have questions during or after a procedure, your doctor should be immediately contacted. Avenue Women’s Center is not an emergency center.  If you are experiencing severe symptoms, such as bleeding and/or pain, seek immediate medical attention.  Contact your physician, go to an emergency room, or call 911.