Substances

Tobacco/Smoking

Smoking harms nearly every organ in your body and can lead to serious health problems. Nicotine can be in breastmilk which can also affect your baby. Even if you don’t smoke, if you live with people who do, their smoking can hurt your baby. Creating a smoke-free environment in your home will keep your baby healthy.

Second-hand smoke (which is the smoke that comes off of cigarettes) has been linked to breathing problems, asthma, and other health issues in babies and children. If you live with people who smoke, your baby might also be exposed to third-hand smoke which is the residue that can last on the carpet or drapes as well as furniture. When the residue comes in contact with other indoor pollution, it can be harmful to your baby. Even if you do not smoke, you might want to ask other people not to smoke around your baby.

If you or someone you live with needs help with quitting, 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.

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Alcohol

Alcohol can be bad for you and may harm your baby. It is important to know about the dangers of drinking alcohol.

Alcohol can damage your liver and other parts of your body. Also, alcohol can impact your ability to think straight and make good choices, which can put you and those around you in danger.

Breastfeeding and alcohol: There is no level of alcohol in breast milk that’s considered safe for a baby to drink. If you choose to drink, avoid breastfeeding until the alcohol has completely cleared your breast milk. This typically takes two to three hours for a single serving, depending on your body weight. If you choose to drink, plan carefully to avoid exposing your baby to alcohol.

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

Drugs

Illegal drugs, are drugs that you have or use without a doctor’s prescription. Dangerous drugs include amphetamines, heroin, cocaine, crack, and prescription medications used differently than the doctor’s orders. Using drugs after giving birth can cause physical problems and put your child in danger.

Drugs affect the way your body works, and if you are taking medicine for depression, illegal drugs can interfere with your treatment. Illegal drugs can also be passed to your baby through breast milk. If you think you can’t quit drugs on your own, talk to your doctor or a local treatment center.

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Marijuana

 

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 to learn more about cannabis use during pregnancy.

 

Source: California Department of Public Health.  Let’s Talk Cannabis – Pregnant and Breastfeeding Women.
https://www.cdph.ca.gov/Programs/DO/letstalkcannabis/Pages/pregnantbreastfeedingwomen.aspx