Q. If mother drinks alcohol during first trimester, what are the chances of FAS?

Answered by
Dr. Ashwini Nanasaheb Talpe
and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.
This is a premium question & answer published on Dec 18, 2018

Hello doctor,

I just found out that I am 9 weeks and 5 days pregnant and I have been drinking two standard glasses of wine a day, sometimes less but sometimes more. Twice I had a 50 ml shot of Gin. I will not drink again now. What are the chances my baby has FAS including facial defects? Will abstaining reverse the damage? I always take daily Multivitamins and Minerals and Omega 3 anyway.



Welcome to

If you are regularly having alcohol, then yes, there are 10 to 15 percentage chances of having fetal alcohol syndrome. You should get NT scan done at 11 weeks 4 days. Start Folic Acid twice a day. After NT scan, take a decision whether to continue the pregnancy or not.

Hi doctor,

Thank you so much. Will the NT scan detect any facial abnormalities? What dosage of Folic acid do you recommend per day? Can any damage that has already been done be reversed with abstainence from alcohol through the rest of the pregnancy?



Welcome back to

Unfortunately, the damage cannot be reversed if already had. With regards to the dose of Folic acid 5 mg twice a day. The facial defects can be identified by congenital anomaly scan at 18 to 20 weeks. NT scan will help for the screening, 12 weeks is quite early to detect facial defects.

Thank you doctor,

If facial defects were present and other abnormalities, is it likely that the 12-week scan would identify a low body weight and head circumference? I am really scared.



Welcome back to

Yes, I can understand your concern. Yes, 12 weeks scan can catch growth pattern, FAS is mostly associated with cleft lip and cleft palate which can be diagnosed better at 12 weeks of gestation. It can be corrected with surgery. Do not worry, it is not life threating condition.

Thank you doctor,

So if the fetus has a lower than normal CRL and head circumference at 12 weeks scan, I should expect it to have FAS? What size CRL and head circumference indicates FAS at 12 weeks approximately?



Welcome back to

CRL should be around 50 to 60 mm at 12 weeks. Rather than CRL, see for palate and lip of the baby.

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