The Effects Of Smoking And Drinking
The things you put in your body can affect your developing baby. Some things, like alcohol and tobacco smoke, can harm your baby. It is best to quit smoking and drinking during pregnancy, for your health and that of your baby.
What Does Drinking Alcohol Do When You Are Pregnant?
- Goes directly to your baby through your blood.
- Is unsafe for your baby in any amount and at any time in your pregnancy.
- Can cause miscarriage (losing the baby) and stillbirth (the baby is delivered dead).
- Puts your baby at risk for problems called “fetal alcohol spectrum disorders” which can include problems with his or her brain, body, and behavior that last his or her entire life.
What Does Smoking Do When You Are Pregnant?
- Slows your baby’s growth before birth. Your baby may be smaller than it should be.
- Puts your baby at risk for certain birth defects, and SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome).
- May cause your baby to be born too soon, before it finishes growing.
- May damage your baby’s lungs and brain.
- Is harmful “second-hand.” If you breathe other people’s tobacco smoke, it is still harmful to your baby.
- Doubles your risk of abnormal bleeding during pregnancy and delivery.
- Affects your general health and well-being.
- Can hurt your baby after birth, too—it’s best to keep your home smoke-free, and keep your baby away from smoke.
It is best to avoid all street drugs (including marijuana) at all times.
How to Quit
If you need help quitting alcohol, tobacco, or drugs talk to your doctor about resources to help you safely quit during your pregnancy.
Even if you have already used tobacco, alcohol or drugs during your pregnancy, it’s never too late to quit.
Here is a list of counseling services that may be available in your area.