Definition of Birth Defects
The term refers to an innate abnormality in the structure or function of the body. While in the womb, some babies develop serious or minor problems with the way their organs work or how their body parts are formed. These problems are called Birth Defects.
There are more than 4,000 different types of birth defects detected. Studies show that approximately 15,000 babies are born with one each year. Some are minor and do not need treatment, but some are serious and require medical and/or surgical treatment.
Cause of these Defects
Fetal Alcohol Syndrome is the main preventable cause. However, the causes of more than 60% of birth defects are still unknown.
Birth Defects Prevention Procedures
Sensitizing and educating the public are key steps to prevent birth defects. There are some things you can do to inspire your wife, friend or relative to stay healthy during pregnancy and have a healthy baby. Some are quite interesting and some may even make you lose control, but the result is worth it.
Here are some tips. These can be especially useful for those of you who already plan to have a family.
- Folic Acid and Healthy Diet: The importance of the preconception period is quite rewarding. If you are trying to get pregnant, it is advisable to follow a balanced and healthy diet. Try to take a vitamin with 400 milligrams of folic acid. Folic acid should be taken throughout pregnancy because it helps prevent congenital defects of the spinal cord and brain. Many women are busy in their daily activities and could easily forget to take their folic acid.
Here is some extra advice: Occasionally they need to be reminded to do things. This reminder can be anything from sticky notes to editable wristbands and reminder apps for mobile devices. Although we usually postpone or silence these applications, this time we try not to do it!
- Avoid Unsafe Substances: Avoid consuming Alcohol, Tobacco and Caffeine. These are harmful to the nervous system of the fetus. Women should stop not only before but also during and after pregnancy. Mostly, medications that are accepted in the body under normal circumstances do not enter the body when you are pregnant. This in turn can cause serious side effects for the fetus. Women with diabetes and obese women should take extra care to control their body weight and health, so they can give birth to a healthy baby.
Here is some extra advice: Find something fun to replace these unhealthy habits. Fitness, for example. It plays an important role in reducing complications during pregnancy.
Importance of Check-Ups
Consult your gynecologist and get a medical checkup before getting pregnant. Health exams and exams can help you find problems even before they start. After becoming pregnant, it is very important that you attend prenatal appointments with your doctor.
Now If you plan to have a baby but have a family history of birth defects or if you are 35 or older, you need to get genetic counseling and a screening test.
If you have a friend or someone in your family who is concerned about the possibility of your baby having a defect, encourage them to get screened. If the result of the screening test is positive, the baby can receive treatment before it is born, depending on the type of defect. Genetic counselors will evaluate your family history and medical records and explain your chances of having a healthy baby.
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