During your pregnancy all you are worried is about your baby’s body and brain development. You become very careful especially in first the three months when your baby’s organs are developing. You become particular about any kind of factor that may hinder his growth and development, whether it’s social, environmental or any genetic factor. Behaviors may have effects too.

January spreads the awareness regarding “Birth Defects Prevention”.

Birth Defects are abnormal health conditions that may confront at the time of birth. These can be physical or mental.  They may affect how baby apparently looks, acts or sometimes both the cases. Any structural or functional change depends on the factor influencing during pregnancy but severity may vary in every case. Hence, the severity of defect and organ getting affected may influence the whole life span.

Birth defect can be found before birth, at the time of birth or mostly during first year of life. Some birth defects like Cleft Lip or Club Foot can easily be seen. But defects including heart, brain or any other internal organ can only be identified with special tests like echocardiogram, ultrasound or x-ray.

We can understand that certain birth defects cannot be controlled to be developed, but we also know about the things that can help increase a woman’s chances of having a healthy, full-term pregnancy and a healthy baby.

Follow these simple tips from today and plan to have a healthy kid.

  1. See your health care provider in the New Year for a pre-pregnancy checkup. Be sure to talk to them about all your medications, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines. Ask your doctor about managing health conditions before becoming pregnant.
  2. Take a multivitamin containing 400 micrograms of folic acid every day, even before you become pregnant. Pregnacare Conception is one of the best recommended multivitamin (including required amount of folic acid) by physicians for those who plan to have baby. If taken before and throughout pregnancy, folic acid, vitamin-B, is proven to help prevent serious birth defects of the brain and spine.
  3. It’s also a good idea to eat foods that contain natural form of folic acid, including lentils, green leafy vegetables, black beans and orange juice. Also take fortified grain-food.
  4. Make sure your vaccinations are up-to-date. Ask your health care provider about vaccinations you need during each pregnancy, including the flu shot (Influac) and the pertussis (whooping cough) booster. It is also a great idea to make sure vaccinations are current for everyone in your family to help prevent the spread of diseases.
  5. Try to reach a healthy weight before you get pregnant. Excess or under-weight can affect your fertility; during pregnancy, it can cause problems for you and your baby. Focus on a lifestyle that includes healthy eating and regular physical activity.

Don’t smoke, drink alcohol or use harmful substances during pregnancy.
a. Smoking substances such as tobacco or marijuana during pregnancy can cause dangerous chemicals to damage the placenta and/or reach the baby’s bloodstream. Smoking cigarettes is a cause of certain birth defects, like cleft lip and palate.
b. No amount of alcohol has been proven safe during pregnancy, and its use can cause major birth defects.
c. Opioid use in pregnancy can cause neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS) and premature birth in babies.