Pregnancy and Substance Use

Your pregnancy is a time of change so it’s a perfect time to make some positive life changes that can help give your baby a good start.

During your pregnancy everything you eat, drink and take into your body not only affects you but also your growing baby. The better you care for yourself, the better you are caring for your growing baby. And that’s something to be proud of!

There are many steps you can take to have a healthier pregnancy from exercise to healthy eating choices, prenatal vitamins and rest and relaxation. However, one of the most important things you can do for your baby is avoiding the use of alcohol, tobacco, marijuana and other drugs that have not been prescribed for you by a doctor. These can cause serious problems during your pregnancy and before and after your baby is born.

Many people struggle with the decision to quit but with the right help and support, it is possible. If you are finding it difficult to quit or even if you’re not sure, tell your health care provider. In fact, it’s a must – to ensure the health of your baby. Your doctor can offer you options for treatment. And he/she can put you in touch with caring folks you can trust and talk to for support. Working with them, you can create a plan for your recovery. You have options and there is help. You can make a change now for the long-lasting health of you and your baby.

Pregnancy isn’t easy so it can also be a difficult time to change old habits. But getting started with a few steps can get you on your way to a place of recovery, comfort, and strength.

1. Tell Your Health Care Provider

If you are struggling with avoiding or stopping alcohol or drug use, tell your doctor as soon as possible. They will help you come up with a plan that will work for you to stay focused on creating new, healthier habits during your pregnancy.

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2. Find Support

Make an effort to surround yourself with friends and family that care about the wellbeing of you and your new baby. As you work hard to take care of yourself and your baby it will be extra helpful to have someone in your corner.

3. Do Something Positive

Sign up for a birthing class, think about your baby and plan for their arrival, pick out baby names, cook some good food (you know you’ll be hungry), go for a walk, watch a favorite movie, take a nap…breathe!

If you can take this opportunity of new life to create some new healthy habits, you will find benefits after the birth of your baby as well. With your renewed sense of focus and clearer mind, you will see an increase in interacting with your baby and response to their signals and needs to create a strong mother-baby emotional attachment that will last a lifetime.