Alcohol and drugs
Smoking, drinking alcohol and abusing drugs can harm you and your baby
Smoking can cause cancer, heart disease and stroke. It also can hurt your baby if you smoke during pregnancy. When you smoke, your baby is exposed to dangerous chemicals that can damage her lungs. Secondhand smoke, or breathing in someone else’s smoke, is bad for your baby, too. Even thirdhand smoke (the smell of cigarettes or cigars that lingers on clothing or in your home) can cause harm.
Alcohol can hurt your baby during pregnancy. Alcohol includes wine, wine coolers, beer and liquor. No amount of alcohol has been proven safe during pregnancy. Alcohol passes directly through the placenta and umbilical cord to your baby. This can cause serious health conditions for your baby, including premature birth, low birthweight, heart defects and miscarriage.
When you’re pregnant, some drugs can hurt you and your baby. Drugs include street drugs, prescription drugs, over-the-counter medicine, supplements and herbal products. Some drugs can make it hard for couples to get pregnant. Some can cause birth defects or make your baby be born too early and very sick. Some medicines that were safe for you to take before pregnancy may be harmful to your baby. If you’re pregnant, talk to your provider about any medicines you take.
If you need help to quit smoking, drinking alcohol or abusing drugs, tell your health care provider. He can help you find resources and treatment to help you quit.
Things to avoid
- Alcohol, in any quantity
- Smoking and secondhand smoke
- Herbs or supplements not OK with your doctor
- Medicines obtained without prescription