Doctors don’t know what causes autism, but they believe genes play the biggest part in whether a child is born with it.
In rare cases, doctors also say, a baby can be born with birth defects if the mother was exposed to certain chemicals while she was pregnant. But doctors can’t find out, during your pregnancy, if your baby will have autism.
While you can’t prevent having a child with an autistic disorder, you can lower some of your risk if you try the following lifestyle changes:
Avoid alcohol. Say “no” to that glass of wine -- and any kind of alcoholic beverage -- while you’re pregnant.
Seek treatment for existing health conditions. If you've been diagnosed with celiac disease or PKU, follow your doctor’s advice for keeping them under control.