Right Start for a Healthy Baby
Protect your baby from harm by avoiding alcohol, drugs, cigarettes, and infections during pregnancy
Stop Drinking Alcohol
Drinking any type of alcohol such as beer, wine or cocktails when you are pregnant can hurt your baby. When alcohol reaches your unborn baby, it may harm developing organs such as the brain and heart. No amount of alcohol is safe. Dads-to-be can support their partners by being alcohol-free as well. For more information about the harm alcohol can do to your baby, vist the website http://www.notasingledrop.org or call 1-800-788-7254 and select option 2.
Stop Using Street Drugs
Using street drugs of any kind such as crack/cocaine, speed, uppers, downers, heroin, marijuana, PCP or LSD can make your baby very sick. They can seriously harm your baby’s mental, emotional and physical well-being. If you are using street drugs, ask for help to stop.
Some Prescription or Over-the-counter Drugs are Harmful
Some medicines can be harmful to your unborn baby, including those prescribed by your doctor before you became pregnant. That is why it is important that you see a doctor if you are planning a pregnancy or as soon as you suspect you are pregnant. Talk with your doctor or nurse about using any prescription or over-the-counter drug. Tell the doctor or dentist who prescribes medication for you that you are pregnant.
Stop Smoking Cigarettes
Smoking cigarettes can cause your baby to be born too early and too small. Smoking makes the blood vessels in your body smaller. When this happens, less food and oxygen reaches your baby. Quitting as soon as possible will help you and your unborn baby. Second-hand smoke is also harmful. It is important that your partner stops smoking. Avoid being in a smoke-filled room. For more information and free help to stop smoking, please call the Ohio Quit Line at 1-800-QUIT-NOW (784-8669).
Pregnancy makes it harder for you to fight off infection and any infection you may get could possibly harm your baby. If you have a cat for a pet, let someone else change the cat litter. Stay away from raw or undercooked meats and eggs. Do not drink unpasteurized milk and juices. Do not eat soft or blue-veined cheeses. See your doctor right away if you suspect that you may have an infection of any kind.
Other Safety Tips
Avoid contact with household or garden chemical products by wearing rubber gloves when you use them. Let someone else work in the garden or take care of your plants for you. Stay away from paint fumes. Wear your seatbelt when you are in the car.
This page last updated on 4/14/08.