How does an X-ray damage an unborn baby?

X-rays are high energy particles that can easily damage the nucleus of a cell. In an adult, there are enough cells that a few damaged ones are not a problem. In a fetus, any cellular damage might lead to birth defects. This is why ultrasound is used for imaging unborn children. If you have had an X-ray of any kind when you did not realize you were pregnant, inform your doctor.

Different types of X-rays have different amounts of radiation. Medical x-rays use very small amounts of radiation. If you're in needs of an X-ray so your doctor can properly treat you, you should have the X-ray.