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  • Many women take substances of some kind during pregnancy, often without realising these may cause harm to their unborn baby.
  • Sometimes people find it hard to stop taking substances when they are pregnant due to negative past experiences and adverse life events.
  • It is best to give your doctor or midwife a list of all medications and drugs you take or have recently taken, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, nutrition supplements, complementary therapies (such as herbal medicine), social drugs (such as tobacco or alcohol) and other substances that that you have taken including drugs that are not legal.
  • Women with pre-existing medical conditions (such as asthma, epilepsy or diabetes) must continue treatment with the appropriate medications during pregnancy under supervision of a doctor. Additionally, women who are taking medications for their mental health may be best not to cease these but consult with a medical professional to seek advice about the continuation of these medicines.
  • Ask your doctor or midwife for advice or seek counselling if you need help to stop taking alcohol or other drugs. Sometimes it may be dangerous or harmful to stop taking substances suddenly even though this is something you may want to do. It is best to seek medical advice and support.
  • If you are concerned about your long-term medication, the doctor may be able to prescribe a similar medication that does not have any known effects on your baby.

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Content on this website is provided for information purposes only. Information about a therapy, service, product or treatment does not in any way endorse or support such therapy, service, product or treatment and is not intended to replace advice from your doctor or other registered health professional. The information and materials contained on this website are not intended to constitute a comprehensive guide concerning all aspects of the therapy, product or treatment described on the website. All users are urged to always seek advice from a registered health care professional for diagnosis and answers to their medical questions and to ascertain whether the particular therapy, service, product or treatment described on the website is suitable in their circumstances. The State of Victoria and the Department of Health shall not bear any liability for reliance by any user on the materials contained on this website.

Reviewed on: 06-09-2022