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Substance Use During Pregnancy

Smoking affects every aspect of your pregnancy including development of your baby before birth, your labor, and your baby's growth during childhood.

Other risks of smoking during pregnancy include:

  • increased risk of giving birth to a low birth weight baby
  • increased risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS)

Smoking cigarettes while you are pregnant interferes with the blood supply to your baby which means that he/she receives less oxygen and nutrients. Recent studies also suggest that regular exposure to second-hand smoke can be harmful.

Drinking alcohol during your pregnancy can cause both physical and mental birth defects. Because no level of alcohol use during pregnancy has been proven safe, the March of Dimes recommends that pregnant women do not drink any alcohol (including beer, wine, wine coolers, or hard liquor).

Using illegal drugs during your pregnancy, especially cocaine, can cause many problems for both you and your baby.

  • cocaine use during early pregnancy may increase your risk of having a miscarriage
  • cocaine use increases the risk of pre-term labor and birth
  • babies exposed to cocaine before birth are likely to be smaller than unexposed babies
  • cocaine use during pregnancy may cause problems with your placenta that can be life-threatening to both you and your baby

© Cuyahoga County Office of Early Childhood - Invest in Children Child Fatality Review Committee

The Child Death Review Program is funded by: Cuyahoga County, and The Child and Family Health Services Block Grant provided through the Ohio Department of Health. The Child Death Review Program is administered by: The Cuyahoga County Board of Health.