Map of Simcoe Muskoka

Pregnancy and Before

Drug Exposures During Pregnancy

By Maternal Age

The use of drugs during pregnancy can lead to fetal growth restrictions, such as reduced length, head circumference and birth weight, as well as medical complications, such as preterm birth and infections.

Infants born to chronic opioid users are frequently born with a dependency to these drugs and experience withdrawal following birth. The resulting effects are known as neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS), which has negative impacts on feeding, elimination and sleeping. Recent Canadian estimates suggest that 0.3% of infants are born with NAS.


In 2014, 137 (2.9% (2.4%, 3.4%)) new mothers in Simcoe Muskoka reported using one or more drugs (not including alcohol) during pregnancy.  Of the mothers that used one or more drugs during pregnancy, the most commonly reported drug was marijuana (74.5%). Cocaine and opioids were also used by 12.3%, and 13.1%, respectively, of mothers who used drugs during pregnancy.

A slightly higher proportion of women in Simcoe Muskoka report using one or more drugs during pregnancy when compared with Ontario (2.0% (1.9%, 2.1%)).


By Maternal Age

Young new mothers were the most likely to use drugs during pregnancy, with 7.1% (5.5%, 9.1%) of pregnant women aged 15 – 24 years reporting drug use. Older new mothers were the least likely to report drug use during pregnancy with less than 1% of new mothers aged 35-49 years, and  just over 2% of new mothers aged 25-34 years reporting drug use during pregnancy.