Drug and alcohol use in pregnancy can lead to complications for both you and your baby, such as miscarriage, preterm labour, placental abruption and triggering mental health problems, even if you have never suffered with them before. Your baby can be at increased risk of experiencing withdrawals, Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD), low birth weight, being admitted to the neonatal unit and Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).
At your booking appointment, the midwife will ask you questions around drug and alcohol use. They will ask you how much alcohol you drink now and how much you drank before pregnancy and also about any current or previous drug use. This includes both street drugs and prescribed drugs. It can be difficult to talk about and it takes courage, but it is important to be honest as this will make sure you get the best possible care and support for you and your baby. It is also important for you to disclose if anyone you live with uses drugs or alcohol so we can support you and ensure you and your baby are safe.
You do not choose to be addicted and we are not here to judge you. We are here to support you, answer your questions and help you the best we can. We want you to get the care you need and want your baby to have the best possible start in life. We want you to feel empowered to make decisions about the type and extent of the changes you wish to make.
Some people who use drugs and alcohol also have other complex factors such as mental health conditions, homelessness, criminal history and domestic abuse, to name a few. We can help to signpost you to other agencies that can support a range of complexities.
For help and support with your drug or alcohol use: