Women who are pregnant or may become pregnant can take several steps to follow any medical advice on ways to have a healthy pregnancy and birth such as:
- Stop smoking and avoid secondhand smoke
- Do not use alcohol or illegal drugs
- Visit your doctor for screening for infections and treatment
- Get preconception health care and early prenatal health care and follow nutritional and other advice carefully
- Don't work hard or stay outdoors when the Air Quality Index shows unhealthy levels of particulate matter and other air pollutants
- Cut out or reduce any indoor sources of particulate matter, like wood-burning stoves and fireplaces, and try to reduce the amount of time spent outdoors near areas with lots of traffic
- Stay away from lead. Peeling paint or paint dust from housing built before 1978 may contain lead. Pregnant women should not live in or be around housing built before 1978 is undergoing renovation because the dust may contain lead. Also, some old home remedies may contain lead.
- Stay away from mercury. Some fish, especially albacore tuna, may have been contaminated with mercury. State health departments send out public fish consumption guidelines that pregnant women can follow.
Do not use pesticides (insecticides, herbicides, rodenticides, miticides, and fungicides) if you are pregnant. Stay away from rooms that have been recently sprayed with insecticides and from other areas with potential pesticide exposure.
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