One baby in every 33 babies is born with a birth defect, every 4.5 minutes; a baby is born with a birth defect. Birth defects are a foremost reason of infant death, more than 1 of every 5 infant dies and the leading cause of death is birth defects in children. Babies born with birth defects are more prone to illness and long term disability. Birth defects in children have severe, undesirable effects on their health, development, or functionality. Steps for a healthy pregnancy are as follows:-
- Folic Acid. Folic Acid is a B Vitamin. If a woman has enough folic acid in her body at least 1 month before and during pregnancy, it can help prevent major birth defects of the baby’s brain and spine. Take 400 micrograms (mcg) of folic acid every day.
- Prevent infections. Take all preventive measures to avoid infections, because these infections can results in birth defects and can affect baby health.
- Avoid Medications and vaccinations without Prescription. Do not use over-the-counter medications and dietary or herbal products, consult your doctor and then use any medication or supplements. These can cause serious birth defects in children.
- Maintain a healthy weight. An obese woman before pregnancy is at a higher risk for complications during pregnancy. Obesity in the woman also increases the risk of several serious birth defects for the baby. If you are overweight or obese gain a healthy weight before getting pregnant.
- Regular Checkups. It is important see a doctor regularly before, during and after pregnancy.
- Control Diabetes. Diabetes can cause serious complications for the woman and baby. Proper healthcare before and during pregnancy can help prevent birth defects and other poor effects.
- Avoid Drugs. Street drugs during pregnancy can result in premature birth, low birth weight or other health problems. Cocaine while pregnant can result in baby with birth defects of the arms, legs, urinary system, and heart. Do not use street drugs before, during and after pregnancy. These drugs can be passed through breast milk to her baby and can affect the baby’s growth and development.
- Avoid Alcohol during pregnancy. Alcohol in the woman’s blood passes through the placenta to her baby through the umbilical cord. There is no known safe Kind, Type, Amount and Time to drink alcohol in pregnancy.
- Avoid Smoking. It’s never too late to quit smoking. Smoking during pregnancy can result in premature birth, certain birth defects (cleft lip or cleft palate), and infant death. Even second hand cigarette smoke puts a woman and her unborn baby at risk for problems.