Substance Use During Pregnancy
There is no known safe level of drinking alcohol during pregnancy so it is best not to drink at all if you are planning to become pregnant or think you might be. Even one drink has been shown to effect the fetus. Drinking alcohol increases the risk of stillbirth, miscarriage, newborn death and fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS). Babies with FAS have heart defects, low birth weight, facial defects, learning problems and mental retardation.
Marijuana is never safe during pregnancy, and it can harm babies at any stage of development. Marijuana exposure has been associated with miscarriage, premature births, small babies at birth and increased jitteriness in newborns. Smoking marijuana can affect the amount of oxygen and nutrients the baby receives to grow. Marijuana use during pregnancy can have long-term effects on babies and children including trouble paying attention and learning to read.
If you smoke, quit. Smoking can cause serious health issues for you and your baby. It increases the risk for miscarriage, pre-term labor, stillbirth, newborn death and babies born too small. Vaping is not a safe alternative to smoking even if no nicotine is present.
“Street” and prescribed drugs
Pregnant women who use drugs like cocaine, crack, heroin and methadone may have babies who are born addicted. Cocaine is one of the most harmful drugs to unborn babies, causing a miscarriage and potentially a pre-term birth, bleeding, fetal death and fetal strokes, which can lead to brain damage and death. Using amphetamines, or speed, during pregnancy has been shown to stunt the growth of the baby and cause strokes. See our MARC program for more information about our outpatient addiction care and counseling for expectant mothers with opiate addiction.
If you take a prescription drug, make sure to check with your physician to ensure it is safe to take during pregnancy and while nursing.
We encourage all obstetrical patients to look into prenatal classes at Cabell Huntington Hospital. Childbirth classes are available as well as classes on breastfeeding, infant CPR, new baby care, and sibling classes. For information or to register, please call 304-526-BABY.
Community service organizations
- Cabell County Family Resource Network: 304-697-0255
- United Way, Cabell County Substance Abuse Prevention Partnership, Education Matters, Financial Stability and Success by 6: 304-523-8929
- Huntington City Mission: 304-523-0293
Early childhood/development/day care
- Birth to Three: 304-523-5444
- Head Start & Pre-K: 304-697-4600
- LINK Child Care Resource & Referral: 1-800-894-9540
- TEAM for WV Children: 304-523-9587
- WV Help Me Grow: 1-800-642-8522
- Cabell-Huntington Health Department: 304-523-6483
- Ebenezer Medical Outreach: 304-529-0753
- Medicaid: 304-528-5800
- WIC – Cabell County: 1-800-953-1009/304-302-2013
- WV Children’s Health Insurance Program: 1-877-WVACHIP
- Family Child Care Food Program: 304-751-5253
Crisis and emergency needs
- Maternal Addiction & Recovery Center (MARC): 304-691-8730
- Abuse Hotlines (children and adult protective services, domestic violence): 1-800-352-6513
- Branches Domestic Violence Shelter: 304-529-2382
- Information & Referral (referrals, utility assistance, food and clothing pantries, etc.): 304-528-5660
- Poison Control Center: 1-800-222-1222
- Marshall OB Concern Line: 681-378-4662