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Infants born to women who used illegal drugs during pregnancy may need specialized care after birth. If you need help quitting illegal drugs, you can find resources at the website of Narcotics Anonymous: www.

Recreational marijuana used during pregnancy is associated with attention and behavioral problems in children. Marijuana may increase the risk of stillbirth and the risk that babies will be smaller than babies who are not exposed to marijuana before birth.

Medical marijuana also should be avoided. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends that pregnant women and those planning to become pregnant not use any form of marijuana. You and your ob-gyn or other health care professional can discuss alternative treatments that will be safe for your fetus. Opioids are a type of medication that relieves pain. Doctors may prescribe opioids for people who have had surgery, dental work, or an injury.

Prescribed opioids include oxycodone, hydromorphone, hydrocodone, and codeine. It is important to take the medication only as prescribed. Most people who use a prescription opioid have no trouble stopping their use, but some people develop an addiction.

Misusing opioids during pregnancy can increase the risk of serious complications, including preterm birth, stillbirth, and problems with the placenta and fetal growth. If you need help with an opioid addiction, you can find resources at the website of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA): www. SAMHSA also has a 24 hour treatment referral line: 800-662-HELP (4357). Some infections can increase the risk of birth defects and other problems during pregnancy for you and your fetus:Rubella (German measles) is a viral infection that usually causes a mild rash and a low fever.

Having rubella during pregnancy can cause miscarriage or result in deafness, intellectual disability, heart defects, and blindness in a newborn. There is a vaccine against rubella, but it is not recommended for pregnant women. If you have not already had the disease or been vaccinated, you should be vaccinated against rubella and wait at least 1 month before becoming pregnant.

Toxoplasmosis is a disease caused by a parasite that lives in soil. You can become infected by eating raw or undercooked meat or unwashed vegetables or by coming into contact with animal feces, especially from cats that go outdoors. If you are infected for the first time while you are pregnant, you can pass the disease on to your baby. Toxoplasmosis can cause birth defects, including hearing loss, vision problems, and intellectual disability. Make sure that you eat well-cooked meat and wear gloves while gardening or handling unwashed vegetables.

If you have an outdoor cat that uses a litter box, have someone else empty it. If you must empty the litter box, use gloves and wash your hands well after doing so. Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) can cause serious birth defects. Treating an STIpreferably before you get pregnantmay prevent or reduce harm to the fetus. Cytomegalovirus (CMV), is a common viral infection.

Most CMV infections cause no significant problems. If you are infected for the first time when you are pregnant, CMV can infect the fetus. In a small number of cases, the infection can cause intellectual disability, hearing loss, and vision problems.

Pregnant women who work with young children, such as day care workers or health care workers, should take steps to prevent infection, including wearing gloves when changing diapers. Frequent handwashing also is recommended. Pregnant women with young children at home also are at risk and should take these steps.

Zika virus has been found in South America, Central America, and North America.