Harmful Substances


During pregnancy, anything you put in your body affects your baby. Using harmful substances can put your baby’s health and development at risk. Talk to your doctor about support and help options if you are using any of the following substances. No substance abuse, recreational use, or addiction is worth endangering your baby.

TOBACCO (cigarettes, vaping or using chew tobacco)

Your body is exposed to more than 7,000 chemicals with each puff of a cigarette. Smoking can decrease the blood flow to your baby. You are also exposed to chemicals and risk decreased blood flow when you are around second-hand smoke. Smoking can cause your baby to be born early, very small and increases the risk of SIDS.


Unlike adults, a baby’s liver cannot break down alcohols. No amount of alcohol consumption is safe during pregnancy.

Consuming alcohol while pregnant can cause miscarriage, early labor, fetal alcohol syndrome, and otherwise interfere with your baby’s development.

RECREATIONAL DRUGS AND MARIJUANA (This does not include cleared prescription medication)

No amount of drug use is safe during pregnancy. Drugs and marijuana can cause your baby to be born early, at a low birth weight, or suffer brain damage. Drugs can also cause your placenta to separate from your uterus, resulting in fetal death. Babies born to mothers who abuse drugs during pregnancy can experience withdrawal symptoms at birth such as fussiness, shaking and an inability to bond. After birth, some drugs can be passed to the baby through breast milk.

Some women are surprised to learn that some foods are unsafe to consume during pregnancy. Click below to learn more about foods you should avoid to keep you and your baby safe and healthy.

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