The health of an unborn baby can be impacted by various factors. In this edition of Child Wellness Wednesday, Marcie Fraser tells us those factors are often dependent on the mom.
"Unfortunately by the time women discover they are pregnant, people who are alcoholics, people who are on medications that may be cardio-toxic, the damage may have already been done," explained Dr. Florence Gordon, a pediatrician.
During pregnancy, it is recommended to avoid caffeine, alcohol and drugs. If you choose to smoke, make sure you're aware of the consequences.
"I will never forget seeing a video of a fetus in utero with the mother actively smoking and the blood vessels going to umbilical constricting with every puff," said Dr. Gordon. "These babies are smaller, they are born with smaller brains."
When you're pregnant, it's important to avoid people who may have the flu, or other viruses.
"I had a baby once at four months, had serious cardiomyopathy, the weakening of the heart muscle, and that was traced back to having the mother having the flu during pregnancy," noted Dr. Gordon.
Viruses can be critical to your unborn child, parvo virus can cause premature miscarriage, and other issues.
"Chicken pox can cause some limb deformities. It is not as toxic to the heart, but rubella causes several congenital heart diseases," explained Dr. Gordon.
Dr. Gordon has a list of other recommended items to avoid:
•Herbal teas with stimulants that could elevate your heart rate
•Toxic household cleaners
•Paint fumes or paint thinners
•Certain seafood, including shark, swordfish, and king mackerel have high levels of mercury
Most pregnant women experience some aches and pains, but it's important to check with your doctor before using aspirin or ibuprofen.
"There are some babies who are, if exposed to aspirin consistently in uteri, can develop this condition of high blood pressure in the lung and it's often fatal," said Dr. Gordon.
If you have any concerns or questions regarding you and your unborn baby, consult your doctor.