Alcohol and smoking during pregnancy


There is no safe amount of alcohol or smoking, so we recommend avoiding all alcohol and smoking during pregnancy. Drinking alcohol can cause birth defects, mental retardation and abnormal brain development. If you smoke, so does your baby. This is a very important fact of pregnancy.

Here are some known complications from smoking during pregnancy:

Low birth weight baby:

Low birth weight can be caused by prematurity (birth less than 37 weeks), poor growth, or a combination of both. Prematurity is increased in pregnant smokers and is the number one cause of neonatal death and chronic illness in babies. Problems such as cerebral palsy, life-long lung, kidney, or other organ problems, mental retardation and learning disabilities are much more common in premature and low birth weight babies.

Mental Retardation:

Prenatal exposure to alcohol is associated with a variable spectrum of effects referred to as fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD), with fetal alcohol syndrome at the most severe end of that spectrum.

SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome):

Infants in homes of smokers have a higher rate of dying from SIDS than in home of non-smokers.

Placental abruption:

The placenta tears away from the uterus causing the mother and baby to bleed.

Preterm premature rupture of membranes:

The water breaks before 37 weeks of pregnancy, which is associated with an increase of preterm and low birth weight births.


The fetus has died in the uterus.