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What to Avoid

To ensure the healthiest environment possible for your baby, following are guidelines on things to avoid while you are pregnant.

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Drinking while pregnant puts your baby at risk because alcohol passes through the placenta to the fetus. Beer, wine, and liquor can contribute to mental retardation, birth defects, and physical and developmental problems. We feel that no amount of is safe in pregnancy.


If you are a smoker, now is the time to quit. Smoking reduces the blood supply and oxygen to the baby. The results of this are babies who are small at birth, and are at risk for birth defects. Smoking has also been linked to miscarriage, preterm labor and other complications in pregnancy. Our Prenatal Smoking Cessation program will assist you in quitting. For an appointment with our smoking cessation counselor or more information call 354 6641. Web site SmokeFreeFamilies.org

Risky foods

A healthy diet is important for you and your baby, but some foods can pose risks for pregnant women. Three foodborne illnesses that are particularly harmful for pregnant women and their babies are Listeriosis, Toxoplasma and Methylmercury. Read more at Food Safety for Moms to Be on the FDA web site.

Foods to avoid include:

  • Hot dogs, luncheon meats or deli meats unless they are reheated until steaming hot.
  • Soft cheeses such as feta, Brie, Camembert, blue-veined cheeses.
  • Refrigerated pate or meat spreads. (Canned products are safe).
  • Refrigerated smoked seafood (salmon, trout, whitefish, cod, tuna, mackerel) unless it is in a cooked dish. (Canned fish is safe).
  • Raw milk or foods that contain unpasteurized milk.
  • Shark, swordfish, king mackerel, tilefish.
  • Undercooked meat, especially pork, lamb, or venison.
  • Limit canned tuna to 1 serving of albacore (“white”) a week and 2 servings of light tuna a week.

For more information on food safety during pregnancy, go to http://www.fda.gov/food/; www.marchofdimes.com; www.epa.gov/ost/fish or call 1-888-SAFEFOOD.

Snack foods

Foods such as potato chips, cakes, candy bars and many fast-foods are high in calories, fats and sugars. Limit the amount of junk food you eat and instead snack on fresh fruit and raw vegetables with dip.

Environmental Hazards

Chemicals, fumes, toxins and other hazards can be harmful to pregnant women and their babies. Substances to beware of include paints, paint thinners, cleaners, pesticides, lead, carbon monoxide, mercury, benzene and formaldehyde.

Before you have any X-rays, be sure to tell your doctor or dentist that you are pregnant.