Smoking and Pregnancy Don't smoke during your pregnancy and limit how much time you spend in environments where there is secondhand smoke. Alcohol and Pregnancy Alcohol consumption by the mother is a leading cause of preventable birth defects in the fetus. In addition, the risk for miscarriage and stillbirth increases with alcohol consumption. Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Fetal alcohol syndrome refers to a group of abnormalities in babies born to mothers who drink during pregnancy. The problems include small head and brain, facial abnormalities, and defects of other organs. Illegal Drug Use and Pregnancy Almost every drug passes from the mother's bloodstream through the placenta to the fetus. Illicit substances that cause drug dependence and addiction in the mother also cause the fetus to become addicted. Medications and Pregnancy All medications you take affect the fetus, depending on the stage of development, the type and dosage of the medication being taken, and your drug tolerance. Diseases from Your Pets, Both Common and Exotic Whether you have a turtle or a parrot or a tabby cat, the best prevention against disease is cleanliness. Domestic Violence Abuse often begins with verbal behaviors such as name-calling, threats, and hitting or throwing objects. It can become worse, including pushing, slapping, and holding against the victim's will. Recognizing Domestic Violence Domestic violence is behavior someone uses to control a spouse, partner, date or elderly relative through fear and intimidation.