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Alcohol and Drugs

ALCOHOL

Sometimes it can be tempting for a pregnant mother to drink alcohol, but it is extremely dangerous for the baby’s health. The American Academy of Pediatrics does not recommend drinking during pregnancy because it can cause severe harm to the fetus.

If you drink during your pregnancy, your baby can develop physical, intellectual, behavioral, and learning disabilities that can last a lifetime. The most common disorder is known as Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. Though it is most likely to occur for mothers who drink heavily during pregnancy, alcohol-related problems can still happen from any amount of drinking.

There is no safe or healthy amount of alcohol consumption during pregnancy. 

DRUGS

Similar to consuming alcohol during pregnancy, drug usage will also harm your baby. However, with drugs consequences can be more severe. Drugs can affect fetuses in different ways, depending on the type of drug. Using drugs early in pregnancy is likely to cause birth defects or even a miscarriage. Drugs used later in pregnancy may cause problems with the growth of the fetus, possible preterm birth, and fetal death.

Drugs can also hurt your baby after you give birth. Babies born to women who used drugs during pregnancy may need special care after birth and have a high risk of medical and behavioral problems as your baby develops.

Marijuana

Remember, even if recreational marijuana is legal in your state, that does not make it healthy for your baby. The use of this drug will increase your chances of a stillbirth. If you are prescribed medical marijuana and later become pregnant, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends that you stop your use of marijuana. If you are in this situation, it is a good idea to discuss the safety of medical marijuana and your pregnancy with your healthcare provider.  

Opioids

Opioids are a medication that will relieve pain. They should only be taken when prescribed by a doctor. If you are prescribed an opioid during pregnancy, it is important that you discuss the pros and cons of taking it while pregnant with your OBGYN. The only way for opioids to be safe is if the medication is taken as prescribed, and you are under the care of a doctor. Opioid addiction can lead to serious pregnancy complications such as placental abruption, fetal growth complications and a higher risk of preterm birth and stillbirth.