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Smoking, Alcohol, Drugs, Caffeine, and Other Hazards

For what problems should I call the office right away, even at night or on weekends?

  • Bleeding from the vagina
  • Bad pains that do not quickly go away
  • Chills and fever
  • Vomiting that doesn’t get better and if you are unable to hold down fluids
  • Burning or any trouble passing urine

What are the dangers of cigarettes, alcohol, caffeine and drugs?

These things can damage your unborn baby. If you already smoke cigarettes or drink any alcohol, you will be given more information. It is best not to smoke or drink alcoholic beverages while you are pregnant.

Some new information suggests caffeine in coffee, tea, many colas and other soft drinks may be a cause of miscarriage (loss of babies early in pregnancy) or harm the growth of the baby. It is best to try to avoid or limit caffeine-containing drinks while you are pregnant. Discuss the amount with your doctor.

It is wise to check with your doctor about the safety of any medication before taking it. But, if you are taking a medication necessary to your health, do not stop the medication without discussing it with your doctor. As for drug store medicines you can buy without a prescription, please discuss these with us before taking them.

Is it true that cats may carry a disease that could affect my baby while I’m pregnant?

Cats may carry a disease that is called Toxoplasmosis. This problem is rare but important, as it is rather easy to prevent. Even though it is rare, it has been known to cause very serious problems in newborn babies including mental retardation, growth failure, blindness and deafness.

To prevent it, avoid changing or cleaning the cats litter box as the disease is usually spread to humans by cat droppings. Ask someone else to do this for you.

Raw or poorly cooked meat (especially beef) is another cause of this disease. Cook all meat until it is well done and avoid eating raw beef in any form, including raw hamburger meat while you are pregnant. It is also important to wash your hands after handling raw meat.

Other ways of preventing this problem are to wash fruits and vegetables before eating them and wearing gloves while gardening.

Let your doctor know if you have eaten raw meat or handled cat droppings (litter box). Your doctor will decide whether or not this is important.

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