Don't! Drink Alcohol! While Pregnant!
If you choose to drink, protect your baby by not drinking more than one to two units of alcohol once or twice a week, and don't get drunk. The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence advises women who are pregnant to avoid alcohol in the first three months in particular, because of the increased risk of miscarriage.
- restricted growth
- facial abnormalities
- learning and behavioural disorders
- find a non-alcoholic drink that you enjoy
- sip any alcohol you do drink slowly to make it last
- don't let people pressure you into drinking avoid getting drunk
Pills and medicinesSome medicines, including common painkillers, can harm your baby's health. Other medicines are safe, such as medication to treat long-term conditions such as asthma, overactive thyroid, underactive thryroid, diabetes and epilepsy. To be sure a medicine is safe in pregnancy:
- always check with your doctor, midwife or pharmacist before taking any medicine
- make sure your doctor, dentist or other healthcare professional knows you’re pregnant before they prescribe anything or give you treatment
- talk to your doctor immediately if you take regular medication, ideally before you start trying for a baby or as soon as you find out you are pregnant
- use as few over-the-counter medicines as possible
- most antibiotics
- dental treatments, including local anaesthetics
- some types of vaccinations, including tetanus and flu
- nicotine replacement therapy (NRT)
Illegal drugsUsing illegal drugs during pregnancy (including cannabis, ecstasy, cocaine and heroin) can have a serious effect on your unborn baby. However, people who regularly use drugs daily should not stop using abruptly without first seeking medical advice. This is because of possible withdrawal problems or other side effects.
Drug treatment can benefit you and your unborn baby by helping you to overcome your addiction. If you use drugs or alcohol, or you think you have a substance misuse problem, it's important to seek help straight away so you can get the right advice and support.