NYC Pregnancy and Baby Care Information: Click to return to the Health Department's home page.
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Prepare for Pregnancy

Treat Drug & Alcohol Abuse

Alcohol is a leading cause of birth defects. When you drink, your baby does, too. Heavy drinking can cause miscarriage, stillbirth (no sign of life at birth), and fetal alcohol syndrome. Since even “moderate” drinking may increase your risk for these problems, the only “safe” level of alcohol use is none.

Learn more about Fetal Alcohol Syndrome.

The use of drugs, for example cocaine, can cause miscarriage and birth defects, including brain damage and developmental problems.

For help with an alcohol or drug problem, talk to your provider or call 1-800-LIFENET (1-800-543-3638) for free, confidential referral services.

1-800-LifeNet (1-800-543-3638) (English)
1-877-Ayudese (1-877-298-3373) (Spanish)
1-877-990-8585 (Asian LifeNet)
1-212-982-5284 (TTY)

Prescription Drugs: Some medications can cause physical and mental problems for your baby. For example, medications for treating seizure disorders, some cancer drugs, some antidepressants, and certain antibiotics should not be taken by pregnant women. If you're taking prescription medication, be sure to tell your doctor that you are pregnant.


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