Planned vs Unplanned Pregnancy and Drinking Alcohol: Important Facts

Is there any difference between planned and unplanned pregnancy and drinking during early pregnancy?

Pregnancy and Drinking Alcohol

pregnancy and drinkingDoctors at Vanderbilt University Medical Center studied this question. They studied 5,036 women. All were in the Right from the Start program.

The doctors had the women’s demographic, reproductive, and behavior data. That included alcohol drinking patterns.

The majority of all women stopped or decreased drinking after they knew they were pregnant. This was regardless of their pregnancy intentions. But those who planned their pregnancies were 31% less likely to drink any alcohol in early pregnancy. That’s after doctors adjusted for confounding variables.

Dr. Katherine Hartmann was senior researcher. She observed that women are “already self-regulating their alcohol use. Our findings suggested that promoting early pregnancy awareness could prove to be more effective than promoting abstinence from alcohol among all who could conceive.”

More about Early Pregnancy

Early signs of pregnancy may include these.

    • Absence of menstrual period.
    • Breast changes.
    • Tiredness
    • Nausea
    • Swings in mood.

As the first trimester continues, other discomforts may appear. They might include these.

    • Morning sickness (nausea, with or without vomiting).
    • Headaches
    • Fatigue
    • Tender, swollen breasts. (Nipples may protrude.)
    • Cravings for certain foods.
    • Distaste for certain foods.
    • Constipation.

Most of these problems disappear as pregnancy progresses. And different discomforts may occur in later pregnancies. Yet some women never experience any of these problems. People are all different. So are pregnancies.


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    • This site gives no advice. Please see your doctor about pregnancy and drinking.