Alcohol or Drug Use During Pregnancy
One of the most important things you can do when you're pregnant is to avoid alcohol and drugs. During pregnancy, everything you eat, drink, or take into your body affects you and your growing baby. Using alcohol or drugs while you're pregnant can cause serious problems. It can cause problems for you during your pregnancy and when it is time for your baby to be born. It can also affect your baby both before and after birth.
The best time to stop using alcohol and drugs is before you get pregnant. But sometimes pregnancy is unexpected. Drugs and alcohol can harm your baby in the first weeks of pregnancy, so the sooner you can stop, the better.
Possible effect on mother
Possible effect on fetus or baby
Heroin or opioids
PCP or LSD
Getting help to stop using alcohol or drugs
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.
- Tell someone.
If you can't stop drinking or using drugs on your own, tell someone that you need help. There are people and programs to help you.
- Your doctor is a good place to start. Your doctor can talk with you about treatment options. If you have a history of problems with quitting drugs or alcohol, tell your doctor.
- You might also want to tell a friend or loved one. Having someone to encourage you can help.
- Contact the national Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) help line at 1-800-662-HELP (4357) or online at www.samhsa.gov/find-help to learn about treatment programs in your area.
- Make changes to your lifestyle.
You may need to make changes to your routine, like not being around certain people, or not going to places where you used to drink or use drugs. Ask friends and family to support your changes.
- Consider counseling.
Counseling helps you make changes in your life so you can stay sober. You learn to manage emotions and make good choices. You may get counseling in a group or one-on-one.
- Join a support group.
Groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) or Narcotics Anonymous (NA) help members get sober and stay that way. There are also support groups for family members and friends.
Current as of: November 9, 2022
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:Sarah Marshall MD - Family Medicine & Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine & Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine & Kirtly Jones MD - Obstetrics and Gynecology