Substance Use

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Smoking can contribute to serious health problems for you that include lung cancer, heart disease, stroke and emphysema. Women who are pregnant should be aware of the dangers of continued smoking.

If you are pregnant and continue to smoke, your baby’s health could be permanently harmed. Women who smoke during pregnancy are more likely to have a miscarriage. Smoking during pregnancy can cause a baby to be born too early or to have low birth weight. Babies born to women who smoke are more likely to have certain birth defects.

Some women who are pregnant try electronic cigarettes (e-cigs) in order to either help them quit smoking or because they may be less harmful. However, the e-juice can have nicotine which can affect a baby’s brain and lung development when pregnant women vape. There can also be increased risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome English | Spanish.

Quitting smoking while you are pregnant is a great step for yourself and your baby. Many programs offer special services to help you quit smoking while you are pregnant. Please call 1-866-NEW-LUNG or 1- 800-NO-BUTTS if you want to quit smoking. You can also talk to your doctor about making a plan to stop smoking.

Even if you don’t smoke, if you live with people who do, their smoking can hurt you or your baby. Creating a smoke-free environment in your home will keep you and your baby healthy.

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Alcohol can be bad for you. If you are pregnant or trying to get pregnant, it’s important to know about the dangers of drinking alcohol.

Alcohol can damage your liver and other parts of your body. If you are pregnant and you drink alcohol, your baby can have serious birth defects. Also, alcohol can impact your ability to think straight and make good choices, which can put you and those around you in danger.

If you can’t stop drinking and you want to, contact your doctor or a local treatment center for help.


Illegal drugs are drugs that you have or use without a doctor’s prescription. Using drugs can cause problems with pregnancy, including miscarriage, birth defects and preterm labor.

Dangerous drugs include amphetamines, heroin, cocaine, crack, and prescription medications used differently than the doctor’s orders. If you are pregnant, it is important to stop using these drugs now. If you think you can’t quit drugs on your own, talk to your doctor or a local treatment center.

Substances- marijuana leaf


Consuming cannabis (marijuana, weed, pot) can affect the health of your baby and is not recommended for women who are pregnant.

Research shows that if you use cannabis while you are pregnant, your baby may be born with a lower birth weight, which means the baby is more likely to have health problems, especially in the first year of life.

No matter how you consume cannabis (smoking, vaping, eating, or drinking), the active ingredient in cannabis, THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), will reach your developing baby through your bloodstream and into the placenta.

Talk to your doctor or your baby’s doctor about any questions you may have about cannabis.  Because the health of your baby is important to you, check out the resources below and learn more about how cannabis use during pregnancy affects your baby.

Source: California Department of Public Health.  Let’s Talk Cannabis – Pregnant and Breastfeeding Women.