Dear MIRIAM: IS A TINY TOT OK?
Dear Miriam SHOULD I stop drinking alcohol as I'm 14 weeks pregnant? My sister says I should but my doctor says the odd drink won't harm me or my baby.
Most of my girlfriends continued to drink when they were pregnant and their babies were fine.
THEN they were lucky. No one can tell you how sensitive to alcohol your individual baby is. To a sensitive unborn baby, one drink can be toxic.
Children with foetal alcohol syndrome (FASD) have behaviour problems including attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), learning and memory difficulties and short attention span.
Most people believe that drinking is OK after the first 12 weeks. That's wrong.
Alcohol can damage an unborn baby right into the third trimester when 20,000 brain cells can be lost if they're exposed to only mildly-raised blood alcohol levels for periods as short as 45 minutes.
A blood alcohol level of just 50 milligrams per 100ml of blood - which is well below the legal limit for driving and easily achieved in normal social drinking - can destroy 20 million brain cells with 45 minutes of exposure.
So, yes, stop drinking now.