How to Avoid Birth Defects During Pregnancy

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Most child defects aren’t natural. They occur because of your exposure and lifestyle during pregnancy. So, here are tips on how to avoid birth defects during pregnancy. When you implement them, your risk of giving birth to a child with defects will reduce. 

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#1. Start Preparation Before Pregnancy


There’s a popular saying that “an ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure.” If you plan to have a baby, you have to plan. Ensure you start taking 400 mcg of folic acid every day for a month before and during pregnancy. 

If you can do this, you can prevent major birth defects like anencephaly (brain) and spina bifida (spine). Additionally, you can also get the required folic acid from fortified foods or supplements.

Furthermore, see the doctor regularly before you get pregnant. Your healthcare provider will advise you on what to do accordingly. And once you get pregnant, start your prenatal care immediately. If there’s anything wrong with your fetus’s development, your doctor will take the necessary actions. 


#2. Stay Away from Harmful Substances During Pregnancy 


Generally, it’s unhealthy to take harmful substances. But it becomes worst during pregnancy. It exposes your fetus and could hamper its development, which could lead to birth defects. 

When a woman takes alcohol or any other harmful substances during pregnancy, it passes through her bloodstream to the baby’s umbilical cord. 

Again, don’t allow anybody to deceive or confuse you. It’s wrong to take alcohol during pregnancy or when you are trying to conceive. In other words, there’s no amount of alcohol that’s safe. 

According to studies, women who take alcohol during pregnancy are prone to miscarriage, stillbirth, and a range of other disabilities. 

When you take alcohol during pregnancy, your baby may suffer from Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASDs). And this could lead to series of physical, behavioral, and intellectual disorders. 

Furthermore, avoid smoking cigarettes, marijuana, and other hard drugs during pregnancy. They could interfere with your fetal development leading to birth defects like; preterm birth, cleft lip, low birth weight, etc. 


#3. Choose a Healthy Lifestyle


Choosing a healthy lifestyle is one of the tips on how to avoid birth defects. If you have any chronic health condition like diabetes, try to control it. Otherwise, your fetus will be prone to defect. It could also lead to other complications during pregnancy. 

If you are planning to have a baby, discuss your health issues with your healthcare provider. They should recommend a treatment routine that will keep your fetus safe during pregnancy. 

Again, try to maintain a healthy weight during pregnancy. If your Body Mass Index (BMI) is 30 and above before pregnancy, that means you are obese. And you could have serious complications during pregnancy. 

Obesity will also increase your risk of birth defects during pregnancy. Even if you aren’t planning to get pregnant, maintaining a healthy weight keeps you healthier and boosts your mood.  

In a nutshell, if you are obese, try to discuss this with your health provider before you get pregnant. 


#4. Discuss With Your Medical Doctor Before Taking Any Medication


Some medications aren’t safe during pregnancy; they can interfere with fetal development. So, always talk with your health provider before taking any medication. It will help to keep you and your baby safe. 


#5. Get Vaccinated


One of the tips on how to avoid birth defects during pregnancy is to get vaccinated. Every woman of childbearing age should take all their required vaccinations. 

So, try to take all your vaccination, including measles, mumps, rubella, influenza, varicella, etc. For Instance, when a pregnant woman is infected or exposed to rubella, her baby may have some defects. 

Now you know how to avoid birth defects, note these tips and apply them before and during pregnancy. 


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Beatrice Sargin
Beatrice Sargin
Beatrice Sargin is a dancer/choreographer, health and nutrition blogger, and a graduate Microbiologist who is passionate about good nutrition and holistic wellbeing. She's a certified Holistic Nutritionist, Healthy Eating for Weight loss Expert, and Personal Trainer. With her knowledge in these fields, she intends to improve the health of all those who care about their health by helping them work hand in hand to achieve their dream body, health, and lifestyle goals.
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