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Academy of Perinatal Harm Reduction (5).
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Pregnancy + Substance Use

Substance use can affect your health, your fertility, and your pregnancy. Whether you're trying to get pregnant or are already pregnant, there are things you can do to plan for a healthier pregnancy

and a safer birth.

Building relationships with trusted reproductive health care and  prenatal care providers helps set you and your baby up for success. 

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Babies +
Substance Exposure

During pregnancy your body nourishes your developing baby through the placenta. This means they may be exposed to the substances that you use 

- both harmful and beneficial.

Sometimes exposure to these substances creates physiological dependence and they show temporary signs of withdrawal after they're born. 

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Most people can stop or reduce their substance use during pregnancy. 

For those who want or need support there are medications + therapies that can help.

Empower yourself with information.

Then partner with healthcare providers who can help you reach your personal goals. 

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+ Support

You deserve to be healthy,  safe, and supported.

Consider the evidence

about pregnancy and substance use carefully.

Then use that information to help you make

informed decisions

about your care.  

Hear from parents who have been

where you are now.

Access resources to help you navigate the medical, legal, and child welfare and surveillance systems.

What is Harm Reduction?
Any behavior that carries risks can be made safer.

"Harm reduction is a set of practical strategies and ideas aimed at reducing negative consequences associated with drug use. Harm Reduction is also a movement for social justice built on a belief in, and respect for, the rights of people who use drugs."

The Academy of Perinatal Harm Reduction is an interdisciplinary group of providers, parents, and public health advocates committed to stigma-free, evidence-based care for pregnant and parenting people who use substances

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Learn about substance use and its effects.

While there are some things we don't know about the effects of substance use on pregnancy, fetal development, and parenting - there are a lot of things that we do know.

We built this site to be a resource for our community where you can find unbiased information about substance use and its effects. We believe in presenting the evidence in a way that is transparent, easy to understand, and stigma-free.


We believe that when people have accurate information

they are empowered to make the choices that are right for them.

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Learn about informed consent and the difference between 
screening for substance use and drug testing.
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Did you know?
Getting good prenatal care is the single most important thing you can do to have a healthy pregnancy and a healthy baby.
Prenatal care can eliminate many of the risks associated with substance use.

El-Mohandes A, Herman AA, Nabil El-Khorazaty M, Katta PS, White D, Grylack L.
Prenatal care reduces the impact of illicit drug use on perinatal outcomes. J Perinatol 2003;23:354–60.

Pregnancy and Substance Use: A Harm Reduction Toolkit 
What was originally created for the New York Sate Department of Health is now a national resource.
This toolkit is intended for use by pregnant and parenting people who use drugs, their loved ones, and their service providers.
You can use this information to understand your rights, access services, and find high-quality, evidence-based care.
Download your copy.
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