We all know that drinking and pregnancy don't mix. But what if you were drinking before you knew you were pregnant? Is your baby at risk? allParenting offers advice on what to do if you were drinking alcohol before you found out you were pregnant.

Confession time

Two weeks before I found out I was pregnant, I was in Las Vegas running a half-marathon and subsequently drinking my pain away... for a few days. The first thing out of my mouth when my doctor told me I was pregnant was, "Oh no, I was just in Vegas. Drinking. A lot." His response: "That's usually how it happens." Here's what you should know if you'd been drinking alcohol before you knew you were pregnant.

Fess up

As soon as you find out you are pregnant, seek medical counsel and be honest about what you've been doing so your doctor can give you the best advice/medical attention.

Stop now

Obviously, from this point forward, be extra vigilant when it comes to nourishing your baby's health. Eliminate drugs and cigarettes altogether and limit alcohol and caffeine consumption if your doctor allows it at all. Consider this your one get-out-of-jail-free card. But if you continue to drink, it can hurt your baby's development and could even lead to fetal alcohol syndrome.

Relax

After he was done making Vegas jokes, my OB-GYN told me to take a deep breath and relax. It was very early in my pregnancy, so no damage had been done from my celebratory drinks. Phew. Still, I didn't take a sip of alcohol until long after my baby arrived because I felt so guilty. And, truth be told, despite the fact that I am now mom to a healthy 4-year-old son, I occasionally feel a pang of guilt.

Don't let stress and guilt consume your mind. That frivolous worrying can indeed be harmful for your child. Relax, let it go and stay calm. You want your baby to develop in a soothing and happy environment and he or she can't do so if you are fretting all the time.

Start fresh

Give your baby the very best nourishment you can throughout the remainder of your pregnancy. Think fresh fruits and vegetables, lean proteins and lots of water.

More about the first trimester

Early signs of pregnancy
Morning sickness until midnight
I'm pregnant! Creative ways to share the news

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Nichole Beaudry May 18, 2012
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The month that we got pregnant with our daughter was a month we were taking a break from trying to conceive. Our doctor said he wanted us to make some drinks and enjoy each other for a month. And wouldn't you know, when we did, we conceived. She's perfectly healthy. :)

And now that we're undergoing infertility treatments again, our doctor sends us home after every IUI and tells us to have wine. I like the way he thinks.