ZocdocAnswersIs there any way to prevent autism during a pregnancy?

Question

Is there any way to prevent autism during a pregnancy?

My wife is pregnant and I'm worried sick that something will be wrong with the baby when it is born. Is there any way to prevent something like autism while my wife is still pregnant? Can things you do during pregnancy prevent diseases and disorders?

Answer

There are several things that can be done to prevent diseases and disorders from being contracted during pregnancy and childbirth. This includes testing for common diseases such as rubella, cytomegalovirus, herpes, all of which if contracted by the baby during pregnancy and during birth and can have devastating effect on the baby. These diseases can affect the heart, central nervous system, skin and eyes. These infections can also cause fetal loss if severe and therefore, must be tested for.There is no medical test or even any genetic testing that can check for autism at this point in time however. There are however, some factors that are associated with an increased risk of autism such as low Apgar scores at birth, premature birth and babies who have low birth weight. There are steps that can be taken to reduce these risks, and they include good prenatal care and good weight gain by the mother. In addition many of the conditions that can be tested for can be prevented by vaccinating the mother prior to pregnancy, and by changing the route of pregnancy if disease is present (I.e. c section). Please make an appointment with your obstetrician to determine the proper screening tests required to ensure your baby is born healthy!

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or (in the United States) 911 immediately. Always seek the advice of your doctor before starting or changing treatment. Medical professionals who provide responses to health-related questions are intended third party beneficiaries with certain rights under Zocdoc’s Terms of Service.