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Intoxicants constitute a significant risk for fetus and breastfeeding infant alike.



Alcohol is a teratogen, which means that it can cause birth defects and damage the fetus’s developing central nervous system at any time during the pregnancy.

Drugs and detoxification

A pregnant woman may undergo detoxification under close supervision. Many recreational drugs accumulate in breast milk and can pose a clear danger to a breastfed infant.


Smoking while pregnant is harmful for the fetus, because nicotine constricts blood vessels and restricts the fetus’s oxygen supply. Smoking greatly elevates the risk of slow fetal growth and of serious pregnancy complications.