Alcohol, Tobacco & Drugs

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Tips for parents and caregivers about the dangers of smoking, drinking and taking drugs. Give your kids a healthy start!

Protect yourself and your family from alcohol, tobacco and drugs

If you use alcohol, tobacco, or drugs when you are pregnant, your baby may be born too early or too small or may have other serious health problems. Using prescription and over-the-counter medicines incorrectly can also harm your baby. This includes drugs your doctor prescribed before you were pregnant and nonprescription drugs such as aspirin, as well as cold and cough medicine. Check with your doctor before you take any medicines.

If you drink during pregnancy, your baby may be born with fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD). FASD include birth defects, problems with vision and hearing, as well as other health, mental, learning, and behavioral problems. These problems last a lifetime.

If you’re nursing, be cautious about drinking alcohol―if you choose to drink at all. You may consume a single alcoholic drink if your baby’s
breastfeeding behavior is well established―no earlier than 3 months old. Then wait at least 4 hours before breastfeeding. Or, you may express breast milk before drinking and feed the expressed milk to your baby later.

Keep your children away from tobacco smoke everywhere, including at home and in the car. Babies and children who are around tobacco smoke have more colds, coughs, and earaches.

Your children need your love and care. A caregiver who abuses alcohol or uses street drugs, including marijuana, may forget to feed, wash, and change the baby or otherwise care for the children.

If You Need Help

Talk to someone in the WIC office, a doctor, or other healthcare or social service worker if you need help quitting or cutting down alcohol, tobacco, or drugs. They will know where you can go for help.

This post was last updated on September 1st, 2022 at 3:43 PM

This institution is an equal opportunity provider.

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