Some Moms Quit Cigarettes, Marijuana and Alcohol During Pregnancy, But Dads Don’t

Wednesday, March 19th, 2008
This post was written by Melanie Matthews

Despite public health campaigns, a surprising number of women continue to use substances such as tobacco, marijuana and alcohol during pregnancy and their usage rebounds to pre-pregnancy levels within two years of having a baby, according to a new University of Washington (UW) study. The research is the first comprehensive look at mothers’ and fathers’ substance use on a month-by-month basis during a three-year period that included pregnancy. Substance use around pregnancy presents a wide variety of risks to fetuses and infants including fetal alcohol syndrome, cognitive and behavioral problems and impairments, asthma and higher incidences of sudden infant death syndrome.

  • Seventy-seven percent of women cigarette smokers and 50 percent of the women who smoked marijuana used those substances at some time during pregnancy.
  • Men’s patterns of substance use during their partners’ pregnancies were bleaker. Men typically are not targeted by these campaigns, and their levels of binge drinking, daily smoking and marijuana use remained fairly stable before, during and after pregnancy.

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