By: Therese Brion

What exactly are teratogens? Teratogen is just a fancy word for anything that can cause your baby from developing healthily in your womb.

Teratogens can range from a mother’s mental state during her pregnancy to exposure to drugs and alcohol. These different environmental factors can have a negative effect on your baby: low birth weight, premature birth, cognitive & physical disabilities/deformations, and sometimes even death. It is important to stay as healthy as possible during your pregnancy. Eating the right food, staying away from smoking or from people who smoke, keeping a positive/stress free attitude, and avoiding drugs and alcohol all together will make sure that your baby comes out healthy and happy.

Here’s some FAQ (frequently asked questions) of what to do and what not to do in order for your baby to develop properly in your belly!!


  • Can I get a manicure during pregnancy? YES, but make sure to keep the area you are in is well ventilated. The fumes from nail polish and other nail products are strong and can be considered a harmful environmental factor.
  • Can I exercise during my pregnancy? YES, it is encouraged to stay fit during your pregnancy. Succumbing a little too much to your pregnancy cravings can be a little dangerous and cause some negative developmental effects on your baby! Keep your exercise low-impact and make sure your heart rate is monitored. Try yoga or power walking!
  • Can I eat fish during my pregnancy? YES/NO, watch out for fish that may have higher levels of mercury like swordfish or shark. Good options are tuna or salmon!  Steer clear from sushi, though, raw anything is a big no-no during pregnancy.

Now, on to the more serious stuff…

Alcohol and your growing baby. There is no safe amount of alcohol to drink during pregnancy. Fetal Alcohol Syndrome is one of the major defects that can come from consuming alcohol during pregnancy. This syndrome affects about 2 in 1000 babies every year. It is a syndrome that has a massive negative effect on your baby’s central nervous system, causing cognitive and functional disabilities.

Drugs, alcohol, and other addictive substances are a sure way to create deviations in your baby’s development, specifically their cognitive development. Consuming these substances during your pregnancy has a long term effects on your child. They create learning disabilities and higher chances of your child having an aggressive or irritable personality.

Keeping yourself healthy is the number one thing to do during your pregnancy. What you eat, your baby eats. What you drink, your baby drinks. How you feel, your baby also feels. So, take care of yourself!!


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