Help Us Learn More about What is Safe and What is Harmful to Baby During Pregnancy

It’s been known for some time now that if a pregnant woman takes certain medications or has exposure to certain infections, chemicals or alcohol/illegal drugs, the normal development of her baby may be disrupted and may cause birth defects and/or developmental problems.

An agent that causes abnormal development during pregnancy is called a teratogen. We know that about 10% of birth defects are caused by maternal exposures such as certain illnesses, chemicals, drugs or other exposures. The following are examples of known human teratogens due to maternal exposure:

  • Medications: Thalidomide, isotretinoin, carbamazepine, and valproic acid
  • Infectious diseases: Rubella or German measles
  • Chronic/heavy alcohol use

Unfortunately, for many medications, chemicals and other exposures there are not enough studies in human pregnancy to determine if they are safe or if they are harmful. Finding out whether a particular exposures can cause problems will help prevent birth defects and abnormal development in future babies. This is the goal of MotherToBaby California’s research program.

Here’s How You Can Help:

Participation in MotherToBaby California’s research program is simple and easy! When you contact us and we’ve answered all your questions about the exposure you called us about, we may ask if you would be willing to enroll in one of our observational studies. “Observational” means that if you participate, you will NOT be asked to take any new medications or change any part of your normal routine.

MotherToBaby California is currently following pregnant women who have exposure to the following:

  • Seizure medications
  • Medications used to treat psychological conditions, such as antidepressants
  • Alcohol
  • Marijuana
  • Methamphetamine
  • Asthma medications
  • Flu vaccine
  • Tdap (or whooping cough) vaccine
  • Autoimmune disease medications

Participation may include:

  • Telephone interviews during pregnancy and after the pregnancy is over
  • Request for medical records specific to the enrolled pregnancy
  • A free examination of the child by a specialized pediatrician (Learn more)
  • Child development progress survey (Learn more)
  • Free face-to-face child development testing (Learn more)

Have questions about MotherToBaby California’s research program? See our FAQs.

In addition, MotherToBaby California also collaborates and participates in MotherToBaby Pregnancy Studies conducted by OTIS.