If you smoke, drink alcohol, or use drugs, you should stop before you get pregnant. They can:
- Make it harder for you to get pregnant
- Increase the chance that you will miscarry (lose the baby before it is born).
If you need help quitting smoking, alcohol, or drugs, talk to your doctor or midwife.
Alcohol can harm a growing fetus (unborn baby), even in small amounts. Drinking alcohol while you are pregnant can cause long-term problems for your baby, such as intellectual disability, behavioral issues, learning disabilities, and facial and heart defects.
Smoking is bad for unborn babies and puts your child at greater risk of health problems later in life.
- Women who smoke during pregnancy are more likely to have a baby with a lower birth weight.
- Smoking also makes it harder for you to recover from your pregnancy.
Drugs that are not prescribed by a doctor (including street drugs) can be dangerous for you to take at any point in your life.
You should also cut down on caffeine when you are trying to get pregnant. Women who daily consume more than 2 cups (500 mL) of coffee or 5 cans (2 L) of soda that contains caffeine may have a harder time getting pregnant and a greater chance of miscarriage.
Limit unnecessary medicines or supplements. Discuss with your doctor both prescribed and over-the-counter medicines and supplements you take before you try to conceive. Most medicines have some risks, but many have unknown risks and have not been thoroughly studied for safety. If medicines or supplements are not absolutely necessary, DO NOT take them.