What expecting moms can do to prevent birth defects

Birth defects can happen to any baby. However, there are many things you can do to ensure your baby has the best chance at being born without any issues. These steps will help promote the health of both you and your baby.

Take folic acid
Folic acid, a type of B vitamin, can help to protect your baby from birth defects, especially early in pregnancy. In fact, if you’re planning to become pregnant, taking a folic acid supplement can help to reduce the risk of brain and spine-based birth defects, such as anencephaly and spina bifida.

In addition to supplements, you can get folic acid from foods that been fortified with the vitamin and foods high in folate, such as leafy green vegetables, beans, and citrus fruits.

Avoid cigarettes, drugs and alcohol
Cigarettes, drugs and alcohol can significantly increase the risk of birth defects. There are many kinds of birth defects these substances can cause, including:

  • Cleft palates
  • Cleft lips
  • Fetal alcohol syndrome
  • Intellectual disabilities

There are no safe amounts of cigarettes, drugs, or alcohol to have during pregnancy. If you need help quitting, talk to your doctor.

Manage your chronic health conditions
Birth defects can happen to any baby. However, there are many things you can do to ensure your baby has the best chance at being born without any issues. These steps will help promote the health of both you and your baby.

Take folic acid
Folic acid, a type of B vitamin, can help to protect your baby from birth defects, especially early in pregnancy. In fact, if you’re planning to become pregnant, taking a folic acid supplement can help to reduce the risk of brain and spine-based birth defects, such as anencephaly and spina bifida.

In addition to supplements, you can get folic acid from foods that been fortified with the vitamin and foods high in folate, such as leafy green vegetables, beans, and citrus fruits.

Avoid cigarettes, drugs and alcohol
Cigarettes, drugs and alcohol can significantly increase the risk of birth defects. There are many kinds of birth defects these substances can cause, including:

  • Cleft palates
  • Cleft lips
  • Fetal alcohol syndrome
  • Intellectual disabilities

There are no safe amounts of cigarettes, drugs, or alcohol to have during pregnancy. If you need help quitting, talk to your doctor.

Manage your chronic health conditions
Some chronic health conditions can increase the risk of birth defects. For example, diabetes increases the risk of spina bifida and cleft palates. Having a chronic health condition can also put you at risk of complications during pregnancy, which can increase the chances of your baby having health problems.

If you have a chronic health condition, be sure to manage it carefully during pregnancy. Talk to your doctor as soon as you become pregnant, as you may need to make changes to some of the medications you take.

Having reliable healthcare throughout your pregnancy is essential for the wellbeing of you and your baby. Family Birthplace at Riverside Community Hospital is here to ensure you have a healthy pregnancy and delivery. For more information about having your baby at our hospital in Riverside or to get a referral to one of our women’s health specialists, please call (951) 788-3463. Some chronic health conditions can increase the risk of birth defects. For example, diabetes increases the risk of spina bifida and cleft palates. Having a chronic health condition can also put you at risk of complications during pregnancy, which can increase the chances of your baby having health problems.

If you have a chronic health condition, be sure to manage it carefully during pregnancy. Talk to your doctor as soon as you become pregnant, as you may need to make changes to some of the medications you take.

Having reliable healthcare throughout your pregnancy is essential for the wellbeing of you and your baby. Family Birthplace at Riverside Community Hospital is here to ensure you have a healthy pregnancy and delivery. For more information about having your baby at our hospital in Riverside or to get a referral to one of our women’s health specialists, please call (951) 788-3463.

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