1-877-327-4636 Alcohol and Substance
1-800-436-8477 Morning Sickness
1-888-246-5840 HIV and HIV Treatment
1-877-439-2744 Motherisk Helpline
416-813-6780 Motherisk Helpline
Pregnancy & Breastfeeding Resources
- Read more in our News Archive
Current Studies at Motherisk
Diclegis Surveillance Program Study
Diclectin Surveillance Program Study
Study seeks women between 4 and 12 weeks in their pregnancy with morning sickness (NVP)
Pregnancy in Women with Multiple Sclerosis
Environmental Exposures and Children's Health
Alcohol Use during Pregnancy
Control of Hypertension in Pregnancy Study
Folic Acid Before and During Pregnancy
Lamisil in Pregnancy
Meridia in Pregnancy
Autoimmune Diseases in Pregnancy Project
Alcohol, Nicotine, Substance Use
The Alcohol and Substance Use Helpline -
offers information and counseling to pregnant and breastfeeding women, their families, and health care providers. Helpline information is based on continuing research and study by Motherisk's specialized team of physicians, psychologists, pharmacologists and counselors.
- Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. in each of Canada's time zones
- toll free within Canada
- in English or French
Call us for information on:
- the possible effects of alcohol and other substances on your baby
- referrals to services in home communities
- Fetal Alcohol Syndrome assessments at The Hospital for Sick Children
- laboratory tests for drugs and alcohol in babies
Some Myths and Facts about Alcohol and Substance Use
MYTH: "Alcohol or drugs taken after the first trimester will not affect the unborn baby."
FACT:Most organ development is completed a few weeks after the first trimester. Brain development continues throughout pregnancy and after birth. Exposure to substances any time in the pregnancy can affect the baby's brain. Call the Helpline to understand the risks better.
MYTH: "A breastfeeding mother can provide more breast milk for her baby by drinking beer."
FACT: When a mother drinks alcohol it passes into her breast milk. Studies have shown that infants take in less breast milk when the mother drinks any type of alcohol, including beer. Call the Helpline for the facts on the effects of alcohol while breastfeeding.
MYTH: "One drink in pregnancy is enough to harm the unborn baby."
FACT: A safe amount of alcohol in pregnancy is not known. It is unlikely, though, that a single drink before you knew you were pregnant could damage your unborn baby. Avoid drinking when you know you are pregnant and call the Helpline to talk about how drinking during pregnancy can affect your unborn baby's development.
MYTH: "There is no hope for a baby exposed to heavy drug and alcohol use."
FACT: There is always hope. Drug and alcohol use in pregnancy affects each baby differently. Call for information on the risks of birth defects and where to find prenatal support.
The Motherisk Alcohol and Substance Use Helpline 2009 2012
Preventing fetal alcohol spectrum disorders. Preconception counseling and diagnosis help
Suzanne C. Tough, PHD Margaret Clarke, MD Sterling Clarren, MD
Is it all right to drink a little during pregnancy?
Gideon Koren, MD, FRCPC Daniella Caprara, MSC Daphne Chan, PHD Sheila Jacobson, MD Kelly Porter
Drinking alcohol while breastfeeding: Will it harm my baby?
Gideon Koren, MD, FRCP
Fetal alcohol syndrome: Role of the family physician
Gideon Koren, MD, FRCPC; Ronen Loebstein, MD; Irena Nulman, MD
Children of Neverland
Gideon Koren, MD, FRCPC
Survey of phyisicians knowledge regarding awareness of maternal alcohol use and the diagnosis of FAS.
Gideon Koren, MD FRCPC; Nevin AC, Parshuram C, Nulman I, Einarson A.