Protecting Your Baby Against Birth Defects

How much do you know about birth defects?

It’s a shocking statistic, but one in every 33 babies is born with a birth defect which is also the leading cause of infant death. You can minimize this risk to your unborn child by eliminating alcohol and tobacco during your pregnancy.

The CDC has a list of the most common birth defects which provides complete information about the facts, causes, and treatments of birth defects such as cleft palate, heart defects, down syndrome and more.

The Effect of Alcohol During Pregnancy

Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASDs) are a direct result of drinking alcohol while pregnant. FASDs can cause abnormalities such as vision or hearing problems, low body weight, problems with the heart, kidneys or bones and learning disabilities. Don’t believe the myths; there is no type of alcohol or amount you can safely drink while pregnant.

The Dangers of Smoking During Pregnancy

An expectant mother should not use tobacco while pregnant. Women who smoke during pregnancy are more likely to have a miscarriage. Smoking during or after pregnancy is one of the risk factors of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDs.) It can also cause the baby to be born too early, have a low birth weight and suffer from heart defects.

To further reduce your risk of having a baby born with a birth defect follow these guidelines:

● Take 400 mcg of folic acid every day to help prevent defects of the brain and spine. Start a folic acid regime when you first begin trying to have a baby.

●Talk to your doctor about any medications you are currently taking. Some medications can be dangerous such as Accutane, used to treat acne, can be dangerous for the health of the baby.

● Some medical conditions such as obesity and diabetes can increase the risk of birth defects. It is important to talk to your doctor about your specific medical conditions.

Visit your doctor if you are trying to become pregnant or already pregnant. Some problems can be detected and treated before birth. Prenatal care is an important part of having a healthy baby.

Free Prenatal Classes: Whether you are expecting your first child or adding a new addition to your growing family, it is always helpful to brush up on your baby basics with our free prenatal classes. We will cover important topics such as feeding schedules, sleeping through the night, breast feeding and more. Classes are held on the third Thursday of every month at 6 p.m.

Learn more about our FREE prenatal classes at www.pediatriccenterofroundrock.com/round-rock-prenatal-classes.php

About the Author

Dr. Katalenas

Dr. Katalenas is the author of the book "The Step Up Diet: From Scratch… The Quality, Quantity, and Timing Solution to Childhood Obesity", a guide to healthy cooking and eating for busy families.