Tobacco, Alcohol & Other Substance Use


Quitting Smoking is the best thing that you can do for yourself and your growing baby!

When you smoke, you inhale the deadly gas carbon monoxide and it is carried in your blood to your baby. This keeps oxygen from getting to your baby. The nicotine in cigarettes also keeps your baby from getting oxygen and the nutrients it needs to grow. Smoking during pregnancy can lead to: babies born too early or too small, ear infections and asthma, miscarriage or stillbirth, Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).

For more information on how to quit smoking during pregnancy, go here.



Caffeine in pregnancy is generally considered safe in small amounts (less than 2 – 12 ounce cups a day). There is no solid proof, but some studies have shown that heavy caffeine consumption is linked to miscarriage.



Marijuana (pot, weed) contains some of the same hazardous substances as cigarettes. One study showed that pregnant women who used marijuana had smaller, sicker babies, and a higher rate of stillbirth. There isn’t a lot of research out there, so why take chances?



When you drink, the alcohol in your blood gets into the baby’s body through the umbilical cord. Alcohol can slow down your baby’s growth, affect his or her brain, and cause birth defects. Heavy alcohol use can cause Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD) which can cause serious learning disabilities, behavior problems, and distinct facial features.1


There is no safe limit of alcohol use during pregnancy. For more information, go here.

Watch this video about pregnancy and alcohol.

Other drugs, like cocaine, methamphetamine, and heroin can cause miscarriage, stillbirth, and brain damage.


1)  Pregnancy. 2012. Department of Health and Human Services  – Office of Women’s Health
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