Pregnancy Safety Tips

Before your baby is born

  • Get early prenatal care. Early prenatal care is important for you and for your baby's health.
  • Talk to your doctor if you have been involved in risky behaviors. Get help with drug and alcohol problems, and ask your doctor to do HIV tests and GBS screening if you are at-risk.
  • Keep your family and friends involved with your pregnancy. A strong family support system is part of good health and baby safety.
  • Be Prepared and Plan Ahead: Parenting education can help you become a more confident and more effective parent.
  • Maintain a healthy and safe pregnancy exercise program. Appropriate exercise under your doctor's supervision can help you feel good throughout your pregnancy and prepare you for labor.

Reducing the risk of SIDS before your baby is born

We cannot expect to prevent all SIDS deaths until we have a greater understanding. However, there are things that parents-to-be can do to reduce the risk:

  • Get medical care early in pregnancy, preferably within the first three months, followed by regular checkups at the doctor's office or health clinic. Make every effort to assure good nutrition. These measures can reduce the risk of premature birth, a major risk factor for SIDS.
  • Do not smoke, use cocaine, or use heroin. Tobacco, cocaine, or heroin use during pregnancy increases the infant's risk for SIDS.
  • Take care to prevent becoming pregnant during the teenage years. If you are a teen and already have one infant, take extreme caution not to become pregnant again. The SIDS rate decreases for babies born to older mothers. It is highest for babies born to teenage mothers. The more babies a teen mother has, the greater at risk they are.
  • Wait at least one year between the birth of a child and the next pregnancy. The shorter the interval between pregnancies, the higher the SIDS rate.

Additional Resources

First Steps - program that helps low-income pregnant women get health and social services.

Safety Tips