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Other Risks

Over-the-Counter Remedies

It’s wise to check with your healthcare team before taking any type of medication or herbal remedy. Over-the-counter medications and remedies that are perfectly safe when you’re not pregnant can be harmful to your unborn baby. This includes fairly common medicines like aspirin and products like herbal teas.


Smoking marijuana releases carbon monoxide into the mother’s system, which then crosses the placenta into the baby’s system, reducing the baby’s oxygen levels. Marijuana remains in a person’s system long after it has been used. For a pregnant woman, this causes the baby to be exposed to the effects of marijuana for a long time.


Cocaine can be deadly and passes quickly from the pregnant mother to the baby. It drastically increases the risk of bleeding and is likely to cause serious problems with a pregnant woman’s heart rate and blood pressure. This can lead to a condition called placenta abruption. The placenta tears away from the uterine wall prematurely, causes the mother to start bleeding, and keeps the baby from receiving any oxygen. This may require an emergency Cesarean section to save both the mother and baby.

The bottom line is, virtually every illegal drug can contribute to birth defects or fetal death. If you have a problem with drugs, or are addicted to prescription medications, please talk with your healthcare team to get help.


Exposure to x-rays can sometimes cause birth defects. If possible, you should avoid having any x-rays in the first trimester through the first 13 weeks of your pregnancy. Dental x-rays are usually safe at any time during your pregnancy, as long as you wear a lead apron over your abdomen during the x-ray. Be sure to let your dental team know you’re pregnant.

Hot Tubs, Saunas, Whirlpools, Jacuzzis

It’s best to avoid hot tubs, saunas, whirlpools, and Jacuzzis because they can cause your body temperature to rise too high. Your routine bath water should remain below 102 degrees and you shouldn’t stay in it for longer than 15 minutes. Be careful when getting out of the tub. If you get dizzy, sit down and wait to stand until the dizziness passes.