Precautions During Pregnancy
Anything you eat or take into your body can affect your developing baby. The first trimester (conception to 15 weeks) is very important to your baby because it is the time when the baby’s organs are forming and begin functioning. The following is a list of things to avoid or decrease to keep your baby healthy.
Take no medications (including over-the-counter) unless suggested by your doctor or nurse-midwife. If you are currently taking a medication for a health problem, discuss it with doctor or nurse-midwife.
Use of recreational drugs (marijuana, LSD, speed, cocaine, crack, etc.) during pregnancy can cause birth defects, learning disabilities or other serious problems for your baby. Use of cocaine, even once, when pregnant or breastfeeding can cause death or permanent damage. If you have a drug problem, ask your doctor or nurse-midwife for help.
When you smoke you put your own health, as well as that of your baby, at risk. Cigarette smoking during pregnancy has been linked to premature delivery, low birth weight, Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) and other serious problems. You should not smoke while pregnant. If you’re unable to quit, try to cut back to as few cigarettes as possible. Cutting down or stopping smoking at any time during your pregnancy is better than making no change at all.
Once born, babies and young children exposed to smoke have more colds and respiratory infections. They also have an increased risk of SIDS. Neither you nor others should smoke around the baby after birth.
Ask your doctor or nurse-midwife for help to stop smoking. The Tobacco Cessation Coordinator at Allegiance Health can assist you and can be reached by calling (517) 796-6440.
A limited intake of caffeine (up to two cups of coffee per day) seems to present no special risk during pregnancy. Eating or drinking larger amounts may be a problem for your growing baby. It is probably best to limit the amount of foods and drinks containing caffeine, such as coffee, tea, cola and chocolate.
Avoid alcohol while you are pregnant. Drinking alcohol during pregnancy can cause birth defects, learning disabilities, behavioral problems and mental retardation in your baby. It is best to avoid beer, wine and liquor while pregnant.
Your doctor or nurse-midwife can recommend sources of counseling and support if you, like so many others, need help making lifestyle changes to protect your baby.