Where babies happen

3146 Deming Way
Middleton, WI 53562

Phone: 608-824-0075 | Fax: 608-829-0748

Things to Avoid Now That You’re Pregnant

Cigarette Smoke

Exposure to tobacco smoke (even second hand smoke) and tobacco products has been associated with miscarriage, pre-term births, low-weight full-term babies, and fetal and infant deaths.


Alcohol use during pregnancy has been associated with many problems with the baby including slower than normal development, organ deformities, irritability in infancy, hyperactivity in childhood, and poor body, hand, and finger coordination, to name a few. The most severe outcome is a syndrome called Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS). This syndrome is a pattern of physical and mental handicaps that are severe. We don’t know the exact amount of alcohol that can cause any of these issues, so we recommend no alcohol in pregnancy.

Illegal Drugs

Drug use has been associated with an increased rate among newborns of low birth weight, central nervous system damage that may delay or impair neurobehavioral development, mild to severe withdrawal effects, and physical malformations such as cleft palate, heart murmurs, eye defects, and abnormalities of facial features and other organ systems.


X-Ray exposure is fairly small, with the greatest risk occurring early in the pregnancy. Informing your doctor or dentist of the fact that you are pregnant is probably the best way to control your risk. If an X-Ray can be postponed until after the pregnancy, then that would eliminate the risk.

Prescription Drugs or Over the Counter (OTC) drugs

Drugs that are safe to take when not pregnant can cause problems with the fetus when you are pregnant. Discuss any and all drugs (and vitamins and herbs) you are taking while pregnant, with a physician.


Caffeine, even 1 cup a day, has been associated with increased miscarriage.


You should have only 1 serving of fish per week, whether it is fresh, frozen or shell. The world’s fish supply has been contaminated with mercury, and mercury has been linked to brain abnormalities and abnormalities of limb development.

Salad bars and Smorgasbords

They can harbor many dangerous bacteria (Listeria, Toxoplasma gondii, E. coli 0157:H7, and Salmonella) that have been associated with harm to the developing fetus. Complications include premature birth, meningitis, mental retardation, sepsis, stillbirth, and miscarriage.

Dogs, Cats, Birds, Reptiles and Farm Animals

Most of the risk associated with animals is due to an infection risk that can harm your unborn baby. Dogs are the only animal that carries no risk. Cats, Birds and Reptiles carry a risk in their feces.

All animal waste should be disposed of by a non-pregnant person. Pregnant gardeners should use gardening gloves to limit exposure to outdoor animal feces.

For pregnant Farmers, you should not silage-feed, should not handle stillborn animals, and be stay away from animal feces.
No matter what exposure you do have, frequent hand washing is an excellent way of keeping you and your baby safe.


Pesticides (including insecticides, herbicides, and fungicides and so on) can have a variety of effects on your unborn baby depending on the type of chemical, the length and intensity of exposure and the age of the fetus. In general it is best to avoid exposure to all pesticides.