Healthy starts: Do’s and don’ts for pregnant people

Experts say rates of complications are on rise

While 80% of pregnant people have healthy pregnancies and deliveries, experts say rates of complications are on the rise.

ORLANDO, Fla. – One in ten babies is born prematurely in the US every day. One in 12 babies will be born underweight and one in 33 will be born with a birth defect. While 80% of pregnant people have healthy pregnancies and deliveries, experts say rates of complications are on the rise.

No smoking! No drinking! No heels!

Most birth defects develop between 15 and 60 days of gestation, which is the first trimester when major organs develop. This is when your baby is most susceptible to the effects of teratogens, which can be found in alcohol, plastics with the chemical BPA and tobacco.

“We found that just smoking a single cigarette a day during pregnancy doubles your risk of sudden unexpected infant death,” said Dr. Tatiana M. Anderson.

One study also found that kids born to individuals that were exposed to secondhand smoke during pregnancy were more than twice as likely to develop attention and aggression problems.

A new study shows that a person who smokes marijuana increases their child’s risk of obesity and high blood sugar.

But if you keep your activity levels high and continue working out during your pregnancy, you can decrease the risk of your child developing type 2 diabetes. Doctors say those pregnant should strive to walk for at least 20 minutes, four times a week.

And be careful about the medication you take. Anti-depressants are linked to a higher risk of miscarriages, birth defects, preterm delivery, and autism.

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends that if pregnant, you limit yourself to 200 milligrams or less of caffeine a day. That’s just about two cups of coffee. Any more can put your child at risk of being smaller than normal at birth.