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Alcohol, Smoking & Drug Use

Consuming alcohol during pregnancy has been linked to fetal alcohol syndrome, intellectual disabilities, birth defects and learning disabilities in babies.

Marijuana use by pregnant and nursing mothers has also been shown to cause problems in babies, including:

  • Developmental delays
  • Considerable reduction of brain size and brain development
  • Behavior problems
  • Attention problems

Pregnant and nursing mothers should not take any non-prescription or illegal drugs. Usage may cause neonatal withdrawal syndrome and may result in a child with:

  • Developmental delays
  • Brain damage
  • Behavior problems
  • Attention problems

If you are using alcohol or drugs during your pregnancy or while breastfeeding, please have a frank discussion with your healthcare provider as soon as possible. He or she can help so that you can look forward to a healthy pregnancy and a healthy baby.

Smoking and Vaping

A pregnant mother who smokes or is exposed to second-hand smoke is at increased risk for pregnancy complications such as:

  • Low birth weight
  • Preterm labor and preterm delivery
  • Abruption (when the placenta separates from the uterus too soon)
  • Stillbirth
  • Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS)

Nicotine addiction is powerful, affecting people both physically and psychologically. Please talk to your healthcare provider about ways to kick the habit if you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant.

Vaping has been marketed as a safer alternative to cigarettes. However, the American Academy of Pediatrics is opposed to vaping. Some reports indicate that the added flavors significantly irritate the lungs. In addition, infants are at risk for inhaling vapors from vaping devices. Doctors recommend women refrain from vaping or exposure to vapors from vaping devices both during pregnancy and after delivery.

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