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Things that May Cause ADHD - What to Avoid in Pregnancy

written by: Olive Estrella Coronado • edited by: Paul Arnold • updated: 8/23/2010

Are you currently pregnant? Are you planning on getting pregnant in the future? Here are a few things you need to avoid in order to reduce your baby's risk of developing ADHD.

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    Smoking and Alcohol

    As many pregnant women know, there are many things that you need to avoid to ensure the health of the baby. There are a number of factors that can cause birth defects and mental issues as well. Knowing what to avoid in pregnancy that causes ADHD is yet one more thing that pregnant women need to be aware of. Let’s take a look at some things that can possibly cause your child to have attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, ADHD.

    One possible link to ADHD is the mother smoking while she is pregnant (LD Online). We all know that smoking during pregnancy can have extremely harmful effects on the baby. Smoking can not only cause physical changes to the baby, but it can also lead to attention difficulties. These attention difficulties can lead to ADD or ADHD. Common sense tells us that pregnant women need to refrain from smoking and to also stay out of environments where secondhand smoke could be inhaled. Not only will this lead to a healthier baby, but a healthier mommy as well.

    Another possible cause of ADHD while pregnant is alcohol. Not only can it cause difficulties with attention, but it can also lead to birth defects and memory problems (HealthCommunities.com). Doctors will tell you not to drink any alcohol while pregnant.

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    Other Possible Causes of ADHD

    Caffeine is yet one more thing that pregnant women need to avoid during pregnancy. Caffeine is found in coffee, chocolate, soda, and energy drinks. If you are addicted to caffeine then you must try to wean yourself off of it for the health of your baby. Caffeine has also been found to be causative link to ADHD in children.

    Prematurity can also be linked to causing ADHD. There are many things that can bring about a premature birth, such as the use of alcohol and smoking. A baby who is born early will have a low birth weight, which is a known link to ADHD.

    A newer known link to ADHD is if the mother suffers from anxiety. Although most pregnant women suffer from stress and anxiety during their pregnancy, suffering from higher levels can put unneeded stress on the baby as well. This in turn can cause prematurity, which as mentioned before can be a cause of ADHD.

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    What to Remember

    Pregnant women do need to live as healthy a lifestyle as possible in order to increase the chances of having a happy and healthy baby. Although ADHD is not a debilitating disease, it causes a child great difficulty with learning and can be extremely frustrating for parents and teachers as well. Lead a healthy life while pregnant and you child will thank you later.