Anything you eat, drink, or smoke while you’re pregnant will also affect your baby. That’s why it’s important to understand the potential risks of certain choices you may have to make during your pregnancy.
Alcohol – To be safe, don’t drink any alcohol while you’re pregnant. Even drinking small amounts can trigger fetal alcohol syndrome disorders (FASDs) that may cause physical, behavioral, and learning problems in your baby.
Smoking or Vaping – Smoking or using electronic cigarettes (vaping) that contain tobacco can increase your chance of having a miscarriage or preterm birth. Smoking also puts your baby at risk for birth defects, respiratory lung problems, and SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome).
Marijuana (Cannabis) – Although marijuana cannabis is legal in many states, its impact on babies is not fully known. Many researchers believe marijuana has more long-term effects on young brains than adult brains. Studies suggest that babies’ growth and brain development may be harmed when exposed to THC (the active ingredient in marijuana) on a regular basis. THC is stored in body fat and more than half of an unborn baby’s brain is composed of fat. Because marijuana isn’t grown or processed under any safety rules, it can also expose you and your baby to unwanted mold, fungi, bacteria, processing chemicals, or even heavy metals found in soil (lead, arsenic, mercury). Although some people use marijuana to control nausea (morning sickness), it may not be safe for your baby and is not recommended for use during pregnancy.
Domestic violence – Domestic violence is the use of physical, sexual, or emotional threats by one person to control another person. Intimate partner violence may begin or intensify during pregnancy, when having a baby triggers unexpected negative emotions in a partner. This type of abuse puts you and your baby at serious risk of injury. If you are threatened, get out and get some help.
Your Guide To Labor And Birth (Vol. 0318). (2020). Customized Communications, Inc.