Alcohol, smoking and other drugs

If you need help keeping free of substances like alcohol, tobacco and other drugs, we are here to support you. We will not judge you. Please reach out to one of our VCH community programs below or call your Public Health Nurse for more resources:

Smoking

Quitting smoking isn’t easy. However, it’s important to quit smoking as quickly as possible to help prevent:

• Miscarriage
• Birth defects
• Premature birth and the resulting complications
• Stillbirth

Help is available and you don’t need to go through this difficult process alone. Getting professional help will improve your chances of quitting for good, so don’t be afraid to reach out.

• Talk to your health care provider about options that might work for you
• Join a stop smoking program or support group
• Take advantage of VCH resources to help you stop smoking
• Get help at the QuitNow website

Alcohol

Every time you drink while pregnant, your baby does too. Since there is no safe amount to drink, it’s best to avoid alcohol entirely during your pregnancy. Alcohol during pregnancy can lead to Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD). FASD means serious developmental, emotional, and physical consequences for your baby.

Even if you drank before you knew you were pregnant, there is still time to stop drinking. The best thing you can do is to not drink at all. The second best thing you can do is to stop today. If you need help, that’s okay.

• Talk to your health care provider about your drinking
• Surround yourself with people who will support you in not drinking

Medications and Street Drugs

Medications, marijuana, and street drugs can all be dangerous during pregnancy. Different drugs have different effects, but few are safe.

• Talk to your health care provider or pharmacist about any over-the-counter or prescription medications you want to take
• If you are taking medicinal marijuana, talk to your doctor about the risk factors. These include premature birth, low birth weight and developmental delays. Avoid recreational marijuana use entirely
• Avoid street drugs entirely. Not only do you risk serious complications but your baby could be born addicted to the drug you take

If you used medications, marijuana or street drugs before knowing you were pregnant, you can still make different choices.

Learn more about alcohol, medications, and other drugs at the Motherisk website. You can alsocall them at toll-free at 1-877-327-4636 Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.