5 Ways to Avoid Birth Defects

by James Flood on Nov. 14, 2011

Accident & Injury Medical Malpractice 

Summary: Anyone interested in tips to help them of avoid birth defect should understand that not all birth defects can be prevented.

Anyone interested in tips to help them avoid birth defects should understand that not all birth defects can be prevented. Additionally, many of the birth defects that affect newborn babies occur during the very early stages of pregnancy, before woman even realizes that she is pregnant. Because of this, it is crucial that any woman who is sexually active and in her childbearing years take care of herself in order to provide the best chance of having a healthy, happy baby. Some of the best ways to improve the chance of a healthy pregnancy and baby include:

1.    Taking the recommended daily intake of folic acid every day. Most experts recommend that a woman take about 400 mcg of folic acid each day. Full of acid is crucial to a developing baby and can prevent common birth defects such as spina bifida.

2.      Avoid alcohol. Alcoholic drinks not only affect the woman drinking them, but also pass through the blood into the placenta, affecting the unborn baby. While there may be some debate regarding how much alcohol is safe to drink while pregnant, virtually every expert agrees that it is best to avoid it altogether. Excessive alcohol can lead to serious conditions such as fetal alcohol syndrome, or FAS.

3.      Do not smoke. Smoking while pregnant can lead to things such as premature birth, infant death, and birth defects like a cleft lip or cleft palate. It is not even safe to be around cigarette smoke, meaning that a pregnant woman should avoid secondhand smoke as well. A woman who is planning on becoming pregnant should quit smoking before she gets pregnant and a woman who is already pregnant should quit smoking as soon as possible.

4.      Do not use illegal drugs. Illegal drugs, such as cocaine, can cause a baby to be born with birth defects that affect the heart, urinary system, legs and arms. It is also unsafe to use illegal drugs after a woman gives birth since it is possible for the drugs to get passed to the baby through the breast milk, severely affecting the baby's development and growth.

5.      Maintain a healthy weight. An obese woman, having a BMI of 30 or higher, places both herself and her unborn baby at greater risk for complications. Obesity not only increases the risk of a baby suffering from severe birth defects, they can also lead to diabetes which can cause serious problems for an unborn child.

Consulting with a physician is the best way to get all of the information that a mom to be needs in order to prevent many serious birth defects including spinal bifida, meningocele, myelomeningocele, and more. A woman who is planning on becoming pregnant should consider taking prenatal vitamins long before the point of conception. A woman dealing with an unplanned pregnancy should understand that it is never too late to stop smoking, using illegal drugs, or consuming alcohol. Maintaining a healthy diet and exercising regularly are two of the best ways to care for both the mother and the unborn baby's health.

Please inquire with Flood Law Group, LLP, http://www.lawyer.com/flood-law-group-llp-james-flood.html

References:

http://www.managemylife.com/mmh/articles/authored/10-ways-to-prevent-birth-defects

http://tetheredspinalcordsyndrome.com/

http://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/birthdefects/index.html

http://tetralogyoffallot.org/

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