What if I used drugs or alcohol before I knew I was pregnant?


Many women use alcohol/drugs in a recreational context early in a pregnancy.  Sometimes women have used over-the-counter cold medicines, not yet knowing they are pregnant, and fear they have harmed their baby.

  • These fears are not based on scientific data.
  • See an OB/GYN physician right away to calm your fears.
  • Your OB/GYN physician will respect the fact that you brought your concerns forward.
  • The doctor is not going to judge you.
  • Many women use recreational drugs or alcohol before they discover that they’re pregnant.
  • Your doctor has experience addressing these concerns and can help you focus on a healthy pregnancy.
  • IF your doctor does not calm your concerns, consider contacting a local Pregnancy Help Center for a referral to a physician you can trust to take your interests – as well as you unborn child’s interests – to heart.

Your doctor should calm your fears.  If he or she doesn’t calm your worries,  please don’t hesitate to contact the local Pregnancy Help Center in your area for a referral to a physician you can trust to take your interests as well as your baby’s interests to heart. One way to find local Pregnancy Help Centers is visiting: https://optionline.org/center-locator/?view=map

How can I cut down on drugs/alcohol?

It’s never too late to quit or cut down on drugs or alcohol for your health as well as for your baby’s health.

Ask your physician these important questions:

    • How can I quit, or cut down on drugs or alcohol for my health and for the health of the baby?
    • How do OTC (over-the-counter) medications affect the baby? (For example, cold medications.)
    • Are large amounts of caffeine harmful to the baby?
    • How does smoking affect the baby?  Is there a plan to stop or reduce smoking gradually while I am pregnant?
    • Share any remaining concerns not mentioned here, with your doctor.

Your doctor will tell you how important a healthy diet is for both you and for your unborn child. Fruits and vegetables are best sources for vitamins and trace elements in addition to taking the prenatal vitamins many doctors prescribe.