ZocdocAnswersWhat foods should I avoid to not cause autism in my baby?

Question

What foods should I avoid to not cause autism in my baby?

Can autism be caused by eating the wrong foods while pregnant? What should I avoid?

Answer

There are no particular foods that you need to avoid during your pregnancy to avoid having an autistic baby. While we do not know that exact mechanism by which children develop autism, we know that most of the reason is genetic. This is not to say that autism is inherited from there parents. What I mean by "its genetic" is that children that develop autism have a genetic background that increases their chances of getting it. Unfortunately, there is no way to test for these genes, and thus, there is no way to tell what your baby's chances of developing autism are. Besides genetic factors, there are a few rare infections that may also be associated with autism. Probably the most well studied infection is rubella. If a mother catches the rubella virus during pregnancy, this can cause a variety of birth defects as well as autism. This is very rare in the United States. There is some evidence that alcohol consumed during pregnancy may also contribute. I know this is disappointing, but because of autism's genetic component, we don't have any good methods of preventing it at this time. I suggest that you schedule an appointment with your OBGYN. The two of you can discuss all the things you can do during your pregnancy to help have a healthy baby.

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