Oral gavage is a popular route of drug administration during preclinical testing. Despite the growing body of information regarding the effects of oral gavage and the stress associated with this technique, the consequences of such exposure during pregnancy or lactation have rarely been investigated. Therefore, we sought to determine the consequences of oral gavage exposure during pregnancy and lactation on the neurodevelopment and behavior of rat offspring. Pregnant Sprague Dawley dams underwent either no treatment or oral gavage of distilled water once daily from gestational day 7 until postnatal day 21. Oral gavage treatment had no significant effect on maternal parameters, including bodyweight gain, duration of gestation, litter size, and incidence of neonatal death. Compared with their counterparts from untreated dams, male and female progeny of gavaged dams had longer body lengths on PND 7 and 14 but reduced forelimb grip performance on PND 14 and 17. Therefore, the use of oral gavage during pregnancy and lactation in rats can have opposite effects on the somatic and behavioral development of the offspring. These factors should be considered when using oral gavage as a route of administration during pregnancy. In addition, the inclusion of no-treatment controls is important because they may reveal various restraint-associated effects.