Alcohol or Drug Use During Pregnancy - Topic Overview
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
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.
your baby's heart, lungs, and brain work.
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.
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.
You may already know that alcohol and
drugs can harm you and your baby. But it can still be hard to stop. Changing
your behaviors isn't easy. Some people need treatment to help them quit using
drugs or alcohol. Here are some things you can do:
Take the first step. Admitting that you need help can be hard.
You may feel ashamed or have doubts about whether you can quit. But your
treatment can be successful only if you make the choice to stay sober. Remember
that many people have struggled with these same feelings and have recovered
from substance abuse. Quitting now will help you and your baby.