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I recently discovered that I am 5 months pregnant, which came as a complete shock. However, my worry stems from the fact that I have been drinking and smoking heavily for the past 4 weeks since losing my boyfriend. Now that I know about the pregnancy, I have immediately stopped these habits, but I'm terrified that my baby may be born with fetal alcohol syndrome. Although a scan showed everything appears to be fine, could there still be risks involved?

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Artificial Intelligence Health Assistant's Answer

It is completely understandable to feel shocked and worried after discovering an unexpected pregnancy, especially given your recent loss and subsequent unhealthy habits. The fact that you have immediately stopped drinking and smoking is a positive step towards ensuring your baby's health. While it is impossible to guarantee that there won't be any risks or complications associated with fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS), it's encouraging to hear that your scan showed no apparent issues.

FAS occurs when a developing fetus is exposed to high levels of alcohol during pregnancy. The effects can vary from mild to severe, impacting physical development, cognitive abilities, and behavior. However, every pregnancy is unique, and the impact of alcohol on each individual fetus can differ.

Stopping alcohol consumption as soon as you found out about your pregnancy significantly reduces the risk of FAS. Additionally, having had no history of drinking or smoking before those four weeks further decreases potential harm to your baby.

It's important to continue receiving regular prenatal care throughout your pregnancy. Your healthcare provider will monitor your baby's growth and development closely through ultrasounds and other tests. They will also provide guidance on maintaining a healthy lifestyle moving forward.

While it's natural to worry about potential consequences, try not to dwell on worst-case scenarios. Focus on taking care of yourself now by eating well-balanced meals, staying hydrated, getting enough rest, and managing stress. Surround yourself with a support system of friends, family, or professionals who can offer guidance and reassurance during this challenging time.

Remember that each pregnancy is different, and many women have healthy babies despite initial concerns. Stay positive, follow your healthcare provider's advice, and trust in the resilience of both you and your baby.

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