Smoking, alcohol & drugs


Smoking during pregnancy carries clear risks. Smoking yourself, but also frequently staying in a smoky room can have a negative effect on the pregnancy.

Nicotine is a harmful substance of tobacco. It is a health danger for pregnant women and developing babies and can damage a developing baby’s brain and lungs. It  causes a reduced blood flow to the placenta (placenta) and therefore a reduced oxygen supply to the baby. Making the baby grow less well. Children of smoking mothers therefore more often have a (too) low birth weight and are also more often born prematurely. They are also more likely to develop respiratory diseases during the first years of their life and there are indications that SIDS ( Sudden Infant Death Syndrome or a.k.a. cot death) is more common in families where people smoke.

Additionally, e-cigarettes and other tobacco products containing nicotine (the addictive drug found in tobacco) are not safe to use during pregnancy. Also, some of the flavorings used in e-cigarettes may be harmful to a developing baby.

Therefore, the advice is to quit smoking and not to stay in a smoky environment during the pregnancy. Quitting together with your partner can be encouraging for each other. Ask for help if you are considering it! We know what support is available.

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Alcohol during pregnancy can be harmful to the unborn baby.

There is no known safe amount of alcohol use during pregnancy. There is also no safe time during pregnancy to drink. All types of alcohol are equally harmful, including all wines and beer. If you are drinking alcohol during pregnancy, it is never too late to stop. If you cannot stop drinking, let us know so we can get help for you.

Children of mothers who use alcohol moderately during pregnancy have an increased risk of growth retardation, among other things. Excessive alcohol consumption can cause the Fetal Alcohol Syndrome.

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The use of all types of drugs, soft- and hard drugs, are harmful during pregnancy.

If you use drugs, please notify your caregiver. Talk openly about it and don’t be afraid to say what and how much you are using. After all, it is important to get the best care for you and your baby.

Oxygen deficiency can cause growth retardation. Preterm birth are more common when using drugs. As is the risk of death just before or shortly after birth.

When using hard drugs such as heroin, cocaine, amphetamine and probably also ecstasy, the baby becomes addicted and will need to be admitted after birth to wean of the drugs under medical care.

Soft drugs are not recommended during pregnancy, partly because they are used in combination with tobacco. There are indications that ADHD is more common in children of mothers who smoked joints during pregnancy.

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