Smoking, Drugs and Alcohol: What to Avoid During Unplanned Pregnancy

Smoking, Drugs and Alcohol: What to Avoid During Unplanned Pregnancy

Smoking, Drugs and Alcohol: What to Avoid During Unplanned Pregnancy 

First things first. Take a deep breath, then let it out slowly. Here at Adoptions Choices of Reno, we understand that an unplanned pregnancy can be a scary time in your life. We know that there are a million different thoughts running through your head, and it’s our goal to help you with your unplanned pregnancy questions.

That is why we put together a list of things to avoid during your unplanned pregnancy. While some of these things may seem obvious, others may be new information. You aren’t in this alone. 


Quit smoking. As soon as you find out you are pregnant if at all possible, as this will drastically reduce the amount of risk you are placing on yourself and your baby. Aside from the potential risks of cancer and other major health problems, your baby could also experience: premature birth, birth defects such as a cleft lip or palate and death by Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). An increased risk of low birth weight is another possibility, which could cause health issues for your baby later in life. 

If you are having trouble with quitting, reach out to your counselor. From there, they can help you find support groups. Stopping smoking is going to be your best bet for the health of your baby in the long run. If you have any doubts at all about your ability to stop cold turkey talk to your OBGYN and your doctor. They are medical professionals that want to help you have the healthiest pregnancy possible. 

Smoking cigarettes isn’t the only thing that should be stopped. If you smoke marijuana this should also be stopped. While little is known about the risks of recreational smoking it is best to play it safe. As always, consult your doctor if you have questions. 

Drug Use 

We know, this is possibly a very scary term. Yes, we do mean the illegal drugs, but we also want to touch on the legal one as well, like a prescription. The quick answer is if you are doing anything illegal -- stop. Easier said than done, but it is for not only your health but your baby’s health as well. While we aren’t medical professionals, or even law enforcement, we want the best possible outcome for you and your baby. 

What about prescription drugs, though? First off, make sure you ask your doctor about all the medications you take. If it is easier for you, make a list to bring with you to your appointment. This goes for things like allergy medications and pain medications. Some medications provide more risk for you to stop taking than they do to your baby. Remember, your health is important too. 

Here are some medications that should be avoided though. They carry the risk for birth defects for your baby. To start these are over the counter or (OTC) medications: 

  • Bismuth subsalicylate (such as Pepto-Bismol).

  • Phenylephrine or pseudoephedrine (decongestants).Best if avoided during the first trimester.

  • Cough and cold medicines that contain guaifenesin. Talk to your doctor if you must use them. 

  • Pain medicines like aspirin, ibuprofen, and naproxen . 

There are some risks when taking prescription drugs too that cause birth defects. Some risks may need to be taken but that is something to talk about with your doctor. 

  • Isotretinoin (an acne medication)

  • ACE inhibitors, such as benazepril and lisinopril. (Used for blood pressure.)

  • Some medicines to control seizures, such as valproic acid

  • Some antibiotics, such as doxycycline and tetracycline

  • Methotrexate

  • Warfarin 

  • Lithium 

  • Alprazolam (such as Xanax), diazepam (such as Valium), and some other medicines used to treat anxiety

  • Paroxetine 

At the end of the day, make sure you do put your health into view too. Harming yourself isn’t going to do anything good for your baby. You need to be healthy too. 


Drinking while pregnant is a big no-no. There are many conflicting ideas about alcohol and pregnancy available now-a-days. That the occasional glass of red wine can heal you de-stress and is good for the heart. That it’s ok to drink in the first semester but to stop once you enter your second. While red wine does have its benefits, those do not apply to pregnancy. In fact, any kind of alcohol can be harmful to you and your baby. How?

Well, you see, when you drink alcohol, it enters your bloodstream, which flows directly through the placenta and into your growing baby. It increases the risk of your baby developing physical, behavioral and intellectual disabilities. One such disability is known as: Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Disorder (FASDS). Other risks include, but are not limited to: a slower growth rate, birth defects and brain damage. 

If you drank before you knew you were pregnant -- it’s okay! Just stop now that you know and talk to your doctor about what to do moving forward. The key here is that you don’t do it again now that you know. Don’t panic. Just know, going forward, that you can’t drink alcohol. 

What to Avoid During Unplanned Pregnancy 

There are many things to avoid during pregnancy. Just remember though, take a step back and breathe. Once you get an appointment with your doctor talk to them about everything. Make a list of questions. Take notes if you need to. This is going to be a time where you have to take extra good care of yourself because you are now carrying a little one. 

You got this! 

Adoption and Surrogacy Choices of Reno has been providing adoption and surrogacy services across Nevada since 2012. You can call us to speak to someone now!

Contact Us 24/7: 855-940-4673 (Toll-Free) or 775-825-4673 (Reno)