Sunday, April 30, 2023

tips to prevent the risk of birth defects.. woman can increase her chance of having a healthy baby by planning for a healthy pregnancy

​Birth defects and having a healthy baby

Not all birth defects can be prevented. But a woman can increase her chance of having a healthy baby by planning for a healthy pregnancy, taking healthy steps before and during her pregnancy.
Taking the best possible care of yourself is also the best way to care for your baby!

1- Make sure you get 400 micrograms (mcg) of folic acid every day:

Folic acid is important because it can help prevent some serious birth defects of the baby's brain and spine.
These birth defects develop early in pregnancy when the neural tube, which forms the beginning of the brain and spinal column, does not close properly.

You need to start taking folic acid at least a month before you get pregnant and continue throughout your pregnancy.
In addition to eating foods with natural folate, you can also:
Take a vitamin that has folic acid every day.

Most vitamins sold in the United States have the recommended amount of folic acid that women need every day.
Check the label on the bottle to make sure it contains 100% of the Daily Value Needs for folic acid, which is 400 micrograms.

Eat fortified foods:

Some foods such as bread, breakfast cereals and corn flour contain folic acid.
Be sure to check the Nutrition Facts label and look for it to say "100%" vs. folic acid.

2- Make an appointment with your health care provider before stopping a medication or starting a new one:

Many women need to take medicine to stay healthy during pregnancy.
If you plan to become pregnant, discuss the medications you are taking with your healthcare provider, such as your doctor or pharmacist.

Having a treatment plan for your health problem before you get pregnant can help keep you and your developing baby healthy.

3- Get up to date on all immunizations, including the flu shot:

Vaccines help protect you and your baby from serious diseases.
Get the flu and whooping cough (also called Tdap) vaccines during each pregnancy to help protect yourself and your baby.

 - Influenza (flu):

You can get the influenza vaccine before or during each pregnancy.

- Pertussis:

The pertussis vaccine can be given in the last three months of each pregnancy.

4- Before you get pregnant try to be at a healthy weight:

Obesity increases the risk of several serious birth defects, as well as other pregnancy complications.
If you are underweight, overweight, or obese, talk to your healthcare provider about ways to get to and stay at a healthy weight before you get pregnant.
Focus on living a healthy lifestyle, eating right, and getting regular physical activity.

5- Boost your health by avoiding the use of harmful substances during pregnancy, such as alcohol, tobacco and other drugs:

- Alcohol:

There is no safe amount of  alcoholic beverages you can consume during pregnancy or when you are trying to get pregnant.
Alcohol can cause problems for the developing baby throughout pregnancy, so it's important to stop drinking when she's trying to get pregnant.

- Tobacco:

Smoking causes cancer, heart disease, and other serious health problems. Smoking during pregnancy can also harm a developing baby and can cause certain birth defects.
Quitting smoking can help you feel better and provides a healthier environment for your baby.

- Other drugs:

The use of certain drugs during pregnancy can cause health problems for the woman and her developing baby.
If you are pregnant or trying to get pregnant and can't stop using drugs, ask for help! A health provider can help you with counseling, treatment, and other support services.