Preventing birth defects

  • Defects at birth depend largely on the cause of it.
  • Whether it’s a genetic defect running in families or defect induced by consumption of teratogenics (  Substances causing the defect) substances like alcohol, medications or infections.
  • Not all of it can be diagnosed before birth. But the incidence can be decreased by identifying the defect.

METHODS

  • Make sure you are immunised up to date.
  • Especially against the TORCH group of infections( Toxoplasma, Rubella, Cytomegalo Virus, Herpes Virus). You might need blood tests to make sure you are immune.
  • If you develop any signs of infection like fever, rash, uneasiness, make sure you get seen by a medical professional.
  • Limit exposure to unwell people( people with infections)
  • Begin taking folic acid tablets( after discussion with your doctor) when you decide to have a baby
  • Avoid smoking and alcohol consumption
  • Avoid unnecessary medications– Always consult your obstetrician before consuming any tablet.
  • Get regular scans( aim for at least 5 scans during the period of pregnancy)
  • Add Iron and calcium supplements( Iron is needed to make more blood and calcium for growth of baby bones) during pregnancy
  • Be stress-free and take plenty rest
  • Have a diet rich in green leafy vegetables, fruits, meat( avoid any food you are allergic to )
  • The last few months need you to increase your calorie intake by 300 to 500 calories. Talk to your doctor if any doubt

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