During pregnancy, everything you eat, drink, or take into your body affects you and your growing baby (fetus). Pregnant women often need to make changes to have a healthy pregnancy, such as eating better or exercising. But one of the most important things you can do when you are pregnant is to avoid alcohol and drugs.
Alcohol and drugs can cause problems for you during your pregnancy and when it is time for your baby to be born. They can also affect your baby both before and after he or she is born. They can:
Did You Know?
Under the Affordable Care Act, many health insurance plans will cover preventive mental health services, including screening tests for depression and alcohol misuse, at no cost to you. Learn more.
Cause lifelong learning, emotional, and physical problems for your child.
Using alcohol and drugs like cocaine or meth is not safe for you or your baby.
The best time to stop using alcohol and drugs is before you get pregnant. But sometimes pregnancy is unexpected. Since drugs and alcohol can harm your baby in the first weeks of pregnancy, the sooner you can stop, the better.
Even some over-the-counter and prescription medicines aren't safe to take when you're pregnant. Tell your doctor about all the drugs and supplements you take. He or she can help you decide what medicines are safe to take during pregnancy.