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A guide to the prevention of birth defects
AVOID HARMFUL SUBSTANCES
Smoking cigarettes or anything that contains the harmful chemicals within them, including nicotine and tobacco, while pregnant can cause birth defects like cleft palate, low birth defect, and infant death. It is never too late to stop smoking.
Using marijuana and "street drugs" while pregnant can cause premature birth, low birth weight, and birth defects. Marijuana is illegal in most regions of the US, but can be easily obtainable in all states. Women who use marijuana for medical reasons should consult with their doctor about alternative methods of treatment.
Diabetes during pregnancy increases the chances of birth defects and other problems for the pregnancy, and for the woman individually. Proper healthcare before and during pregnancy can help prevent birth defects and other poor outcomes.
Some vaccinations are okay to use, some are encouraged, and others are condemned to use while pregnant. Many vaccinations such as the influenza vaccine and diphtheria, help fight the woman against infections that can cause birth defects. Other vaccines, however can cause birth defects and complications.