It's important to be mindful that anything you eat, drink, inhale or are exposed to may affect the development of your baby.
+ Deciding whether to become pregnant
If you are thinking about getting pregnant, it can be hard to know when the right time is, or how you might prepare for such a big change.
Things to consider:
- Are you ready for the financial, emotional, and time commitment of parenthood?
- Is your partner ready to start a family?
- Have you discussed any potential health issues with your doctor?
If you decide that you're not ready to become pregnant, talk to your health care provider about the best methods of family planning (e.g. birth control) for you and your partner until you are ready to become pregnant.
+ Preparing for Pregnancy
Meet with Your Healthcare Provider
- If you're considering getting pregnant, talk to your health care provider to discuss your plans and overall health.
- Talk to your health care provider about all alcohol, tobacco, marijuana, drugs, medications and supplements you are taking. Discuss ways to stop or reduce use of anything that could negatively affect you or your baby.
Talk to Your Partner
- Your partner’s use of alcohol, tobacco, marijuana or drugs may affect you and your baby, too. Secondhand smoke can pose health risks to a pregnant mom and her developing child. Plus, it can be harder to quit if your partner continues using. Talk to your partner about their use and ask for their support.
Evaluate Your Living Space
Think about your life and current surroundings. Start making the necessary changes now to prepare for pregnancy and having a baby.
+ While Pregnant
It’s more important than ever to take care of yourself both physically and emotionally while you are pregnant.
Prenatal Care & Nutrition
Good prenatal care, nutrition and prenatal vitamins are essential for mom and baby. Seek prenatal care early and talk with your doctor about what vitamins to take, what to eat, what foods to avoid, and other tips for a healthy pregnancy. Taking care of your overall health and well-being can help make your pregnancy healthier and more enjoyable!
Substance Use While Pregnant
- Anything you eat, drink, smoke or are exposed to may affect your baby. Exposure to some substances may result in permanent damage. Talk to your health care provider about all alcohol, tobacco, marijuana, drugs, medications, caffeine and supplements you are taking. Review ways to stop or reduce use of anything that may affect you or your baby.
- Specific risks to your baby of being exposed to alcohol, marijuana or drugs depend on many factors, such as what, when and how often it is used. Genetics, nutrition, overall health and surroundings can also affect your baby.
- Potential risks of substance use while pregnant include: miscarriage, stillbirth, low birth weight, premature birth, birth defects, developmental delays, learning issues and medical complications.
- If you are pregnant or a mother with young children, you are a priority for drug and alcohol treatment. Treatment is available, and you can bring your kids. Your treatment will be confidential and nonjudgmental. Medicaid/sliding scale fees. Learn more at Mother’s Connection.
Pregnancy-related depression is the most common complication of pregnancy. Untreated depression may be harmful to you and your baby. If you feel sad or hopeless, you are not alone and treatment is available. Talk to your health care provider about how you are feeling emotionally as well as physically.
+ For Expectant Partners
It Takes Two
Your use of alcohol, tobacco (including secondhand smoke), marijuana or drugs can negatively affect your partner and your developing baby. It may be harder for your partner to quit using if you continue to use. Talk to your partner about your use and make a plan together to support the healthy development of your baby.
Ask for Help
Pregnancy can be a stressful time for partners too. There are lots of resources available for you, your partner, and your family. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Find out what assistance is available to meet your family’s needs and get the support you need. Every parent needs a little help sometimes.
+ Information & Resources
Start planning for the future by learning more about caring for children responsibly. Click on the topics below for more information.
American Pregnancy Association - Learn more about your unborn child’s growth and development.
Centers for Disease Control - A guide to planning for pregnacy.
Health One - Advice for staying healthy while pregnant.
March of Dimes - Information on the specific effects of alcohol, drugs, tobacco, medications and supplements on your baby.
Mother's Connection - Support and resources for mothers struggling with addiction.
Zero to Three - A guide to early child development and wellbeing.
Call 1-800-CHILDREN (244-5373) or 1-866-LAS-FAMILIAS (527-3264) for free, confidential help finding drug treatment, parenting support, medical care, social and family service agencies, and many other resources. Learn more.
Substance Use & Pregnancy
Click on a substance to learn more.