Babies being born with birth defects are not uncommon. Every year thousands of babies are born with some kind of defect or other. For most cases, the actual cause of the defect is not known. However, as a mother you can take certain precautions to avoid any kind of problem emanating from your end. After all it is all about the well being of your own baby. Awareness and proper education is all that it takes for taking precautions.
Read on to know some tips which will help in preventing birth defects during pregnancy:
1. Refrain from drinking during pregnancy
Alcohol is harmful during pregnancy. Stop drinking, even if it is a glass of wine. The alcohol passes through the placenta and mixes with the blood supply that reaches the growing fetus. Miscarriages and stillbirths can also be caused due to alcohol consumption during pregnancy. Alcohol consumption at this time might cause various kinds of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders in the unborn child, including Fetal Alcohol Syndrome.
2. Use natural and organic personal care products
Various kinds of studies and research have shown that personal care products contain chemicals of different kinds and these might play a major role in causing birth defects. There are strong evidences of the fact that prenatal exposure to phthalates lead to abnormality in reproductive development in infant boys. Phthalates are mainly found in fragrances, nail polishes and other personal care products. It is also recommended to stay away from chemical-based hair dyes. Try using natural and organic personal care items as they are free from all kinds of chemicals and prevent pregnancy defects.
3. Stay away from environmental chemicals
Toxins and chemicals get into the placenta and into the blood supply of the fetus directly. This is the reason pregnant ladies should be away from exposure to all kinds of toxins and chemicals. Stay away from items like paint thinner, oil-based paints, contaminated water, gasoline, paints with lead content in them, pesticides, chemical solvents and so on. If you are in a profession that demands exposure to such elements, take precautionary safety measures so that the toxins enter the body minimally.
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4. Iodine deficiency should be avoided
One of the leading causes of impaired neurocognitive development in kids, fetal death and cretinism is iodine deficiency. Salt is one of the commonest ways of getting iodine along with bread, fish, and dairy products and so on. During pregnancy, the body needs more amounts of iodine. Some of the ways of building up more iodine in the body include taking potassium iodide in the form of multivitamin tablets, seaweeds, kelp, wakame, nori, kombu and so on. However, do not overdose on iodine as it might lead to congenital hypothyroidism in the unborn child.
5. Use natural household cleaners
For effective cleaning of our homes, we often use various kinds of cleaners and cleaning solutions. But most of these solutions contain various kinds of strong chemicals, which emit obnoxious gases. Usually the ingredients which are used in the cleaners are not mentioned. The best thing to do in this regard is to use all-natural household cleaners. These cleaners usually have mild cleansing ingredients and pure essential oils. These might be slightly expensive but will cause no harm or side effects for you or your unborn baby.
6. Folate supplements are good
This is probably one of the safest and easiest ways of preventing birth defects in children. Folate supplements have been used since a long time during pregnancy. 800mcg of daily folate consumption is recommended for pregnant women. Folate is a type of vitamin B, the deficiency of which increases risks of neural tube defects (NTDs), fatal birth defects and also problems of the spine and the brain.
7. Stop smoking completely
Pregnant or otherwise, smoking is always harmful for the health. When you are pregnant avoid smoking completely, even if it is passive smoking. The amount of oxygen that goes to the fetus is reduced significantly with smoking. Reports have shown that mothers who smoked during pregnancy gave birth to premature babies, babies with low weight or ill health. Other serious health problems in the unborn child are also noticed.
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For giving birth to a healthy baby, these tips are really helpful.