|If a woman drinks heavily during the first few weeks of pregnancy, before knowing she is pregnant, is there any way to know what or how much damage was done to the baby?
This is very difficult to determine. Very heavy alcohol exposure early on can result in a miscarriage. If alcohol exposure stops at an early enough stage, the chances are good the baby will be healthy. However, depending on how much alcohol was consumed and for how long, how much damage was already done will be hard to tell. A detailed ultrasound exam at 16-18 weeks' gestation may help detect congenital anomalies. This is a complex issue; the best course of action is to discuss the concern with a healthcare provider to understand all of the available options. Teratogen Information Services (available in each state) may also be able to help. Http://otispregnancy.org/otis_find_a_tis.asp provides a list of these services.