Pregnancy and Alcohol Don't Mix

Baby illustration

Drinking alcohol during pregnancy can cause permanent birth defects and brain damage to a developing baby.

The safest choice is no alcohol during pregnancy, when planning a pregnancy, or if there is chance of pregnancy.

As long as alcohol is consumed, use effective and accessible contraception that is appropriate for both partners.

Sandy’s Law Legislation​

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Sandy’s Law is an amendment to the Liquor Licence Act. It is a private member’s bill that was introduced by MPP Ernie Parsons of Prince Edward  (Ont.), and was inspired by his late son, Sandy, who had Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD).

Under Sandy’s Law, everywhere alcohol is sold or where customers brew their own wine or beer must post signage warning about the dangers of consuming alcohol while pregnant.

Alcohol Can Harm a Developing Baby

  • No safe time to drink alcohol
  • No safe kind of alcohol
  • No safe amount of alcohol

It is safest not to drink alcohol before a pregnancy. 

As long as alcohol is consumed, use effective and accessible contraception that is appropriate for both partners.

Choose to have non-alcoholic drinks
See Recipe Cards for delicious non-alcoholic drinks, also called Mocktails. Try some out. If you don’t have some of the ingredients on hand, make up your own recipes. Share your favourites with family and friends.

Woman jumping outside


It is best for both parents not to smoke, during the pregnancy and after the baby is born. In fact, it is best to quit prior to conception.

It can be difficult for some people to quit smoking since nicotine is highly addictive. If a person is not ready to quit, consider the options to:

  • Reduce the number of cigarettes smoked
  • Quitting for periods of time during the pregnancy
  • Smoke outdoors and wash your hands after smoking

Ask for help from partner, family, friends and community programs: 

  • Accept support when trying to quit or cut back on smoking
  • Discuss with friends and family your right to have a smoke-free home
  • Talk to a health care professional 

 For more information:

Cannabis leaf


The safest option is not to use cannabis during pregnancy.

  • Although cannabis is natural, it doesn’t make it safe during pregnancy.
  • Cannabis is not recommended to treat morning sickness or for medical purposes during pregnancy. Ask a health care professional about safer options to feel better.
  • Using cannabis during pregnancy can affect a child’s brain development, behaviour and mental health into adolescence and early adulthood. The effects may be permanent.
  • If you are unable to stop using cannabis completely, try using less and less often.

 For more information:

2 women talking

Medication and drugs during pregnancy

Medications can be safe to take when pregnant, but always check with your health care professional, your pharmacist or Motherisk. Motherisk can answer questions about the safety of prescribed medications, over the counter products, and herbal remedies.

It is never too late to quit any substance use habits. If unable to stop completely, try using less and less often. There are resources in the community to help you.


 For more information: