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Toxins and Pregnancy

You're finally pregnant – and the world seems fraught with dangers. Here's a guide to help you navigate through the legitimate concerns and the baseless worries.

Take-Home Message

"Use caution with any exposure in the first trimester and moderation throughout the second or third," advises Chambliss. "Communicate clearly to your physician anything you're taking, including prescriptions, home remedies, [over-the-counter] medications, vitamins, and alternative medicines. Also mention exposure to occupational chemicals."

If you're in doubt about a particular drug or substance, ask the doctor. Ideally, you should talk to your doc about the medications you're taking and other concerns before becoming pregnant so you can make any necessary changes. There are dietary supplements - like folic acid - that are best started before pregnancy. And some toxins can linger in the body even if you end your exposure.

Reviewed on October 01, 2008

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