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How To Prevent Birth Defects

3:37:00 AM

Birth defects are definitely a heartbreaking topic to discuss, but it is an important topic as education and awareness should be spread among as many soon-to-be mothers as possible. 

If you receive the proper information it can help you to understand, treat and prevent birth defects. These conditions start developing in the mother’s womb and are present once the baby is born. It can be caused by a combination of different factors such as individual, environmental and genetic behavior.

Unfortunately, many birth defects can’t be prevented, but there are a few steps that can be taken in order to increase the probability of having both a healthy pregnancy and baby. Here are a few things you can try to prevent birth defects if you are planning to become pregnant:




Folic Acid

If you take folic acid before and during pregnancy, the risk of certain birth defects (related to the baby’s nervous system) can be reduced by up to 70%. These birth defects are called neural tube defects with the most common NTDs being encephalocele, anencephaly and spina bifida. These defects mostly happen before a woman knows that she is pregnant (usually within the first month of pregnancy). It is, therefore, very important to take folic acid not only when you are pregnant, but also if you are planning on becoming a mother. Read in-depth reports on a range of health supplements to make an educated consumer choice about which products to choose and why by visiting Review Critic.


Start Planning Before You Get Pregnant

If you want to become a mother, it would be best to start planning and preparing before conception. As many birth defects happen during the first three months of pregnancy, it is very important to consult a doctor and discuss your family and medical history before you conceive.


Avoid Alcohol

If you are pregnant or planning on becoming pregnant, you should start saying no to alcohol. This would prevent your child from congenital birth defects. Drinking alcohol while pregnant can cause fetal alcohol syndrome, stillbirth, miscarriage and inhibit fetal growth. It can further also cause lifelong behavioral and growth problems known as fetal alcohol spectrum disorder.


Stop Smoking

By smoking, you won’t only be harming yourself but it can also have hazardous effects on your baby. Smoking while pregnant can cause defects like cleft palate, low birth weight and premature birth.


Make Better Lifestyle Choices

If the mother is healthy, the chances are good that she’ll have a healthy pregnancy and a healthy baby. Your lifestyle choices can have a very direct impact on the baby and you should, therefore, try to adopt healthy habits - eat regularly, do some light exercises, do meditation and yoga to help with reducing stress and try to keep a healthy weight. Overweight women have increased risks of getting babies with birth defects as well as other complications related to delivery and labor.



Include Healthy Hygiene Habits

Women can easily get an infection during pregnancy like genital herpes and Toxoplasmosis which can be very harmful to the baby as it can cause defects like a learning disability, mental retardation and hearing impairment. Wash your hands properly, eat well-cooked meals and try to stay away from anyone who has any kind of infection.


Immunization

There are a few vaccines that are important for pregnant mothers. They will strengthen your immune system in order for your body to fight infectious diseases and thus saving your child from various birth defects.


Stay Away From Medications

No form of medication should be taken without a doctor’s prescription, as certain medications can increase the chance of birth defects. Not even herbal health supplements should be taken without the consent of your doctor as any supplements or medication taken by a pregnant mother reaches the fetus through the placenta.


How To Prevent Birth Defects


Ask Your Partner For Help

Even though most of the responsibility lies with the mother to maintain a healthy body and mind, your life partner also plays a very important role in ensuring that your baby will be healthy. If your partner offers you support in terms of avoiding alcohol and adopting a healthy diet, it can definitely make the big lifestyle changes a lot easier.

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