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Why should I stop taking illegal drugs if I’m trying to get pregnant, and how can they affect a growing baby?

ANSWER

Stop using illicit drugs the moment you start thinking about getting pregnant. They can harm you and your growing baby, and it can take a while for the drugs to clear your bloodstream.

It's not good enough to stop taking them when you find out you're pregnant. Your baby's organs are forming, and the drugs in your body will affect his growth.

Encourage your partner to kick his habits, too. Smoking pot, for example, can affect his ability to make a baby.

SOURCES:

Siobhan Dolan, MD, medical advisor, March of Dimes; professor of obstetrics and gynecology and women's health, Albert Einstein College of Medicine; attending physician, division of reproductive genetics, Montefiore Medical Center. 

UpToDate: "Optimizing natural fertility in couples planning pregnancy," "Patient information: How to plan and prepare for a healthy pregnancy (The Basics)."

FDA: "What is the meaning of 'natural' on the label of food?"

March of Dimes: "Getting Healthy Before Pregnancy."

American Society for Reproductive Medicine: "Weight and Fertility."

CDC: "Alcohol Use in Pregnancy," "Medications and Pregnancy."

Reviewed by Traci C. Johnson on January 26, 2019

SOURCES:

Siobhan Dolan, MD, medical advisor, March of Dimes; professor of obstetrics and gynecology and women's health, Albert Einstein College of Medicine; attending physician, division of reproductive genetics, Montefiore Medical Center. 

UpToDate: "Optimizing natural fertility in couples planning pregnancy," "Patient information: How to plan and prepare for a healthy pregnancy (The Basics)."

FDA: "What is the meaning of 'natural' on the label of food?"

March of Dimes: "Getting Healthy Before Pregnancy."

American Society for Reproductive Medicine: "Weight and Fertility."

CDC: "Alcohol Use in Pregnancy," "Medications and Pregnancy."

Reviewed by Traci C. Johnson on January 26, 2019

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If I’m thinking about getting pregnant, what should I do about vaccines?

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