Birth defects are the abnormalities seen in the baby when they are born. They can be due to different reasons. Some birth defects are caused due to genetic problems. Some others can be caused by the environment and habits of the parents. While the birth defects of genetic origin cannot be preventable, those that are caused by the habit of the parents and the environment.
Plan Things Beforehand
If at all possible, try to plan the pregnancy beforehand. This will give you time to talk to your doctor and take precautions against birth defects. The doctor will ask you for the history of birth defects in your family. If there has been a predilection towards birth defects in your or your spouse's family, you might be at a risk of having a baby with birth defects. This will help your doctor to advise you accordingly. You may have to take certain drugs, lose weight or gain weight as your doctor asks you to. It is best if you talk to your doctor before you start trying for a baby.
Consume Folic Acid
As soon as you decide that you are going to have a baby, you must talk to your doctor and begin a daily dosage of folic acid as prescribed by him. It is seen that folic acid can help reduce the birth defects related to the nervous system and the brain. You should remember that the defects of the neural tube occur in the first month of pregnancy when most women are unaware of the pregnancy.
Alcohol has been linked with a lot of birth defects one of which is the fetal alcohol syndrome. Use of alcohol during pregnancy can also lead to stillbirths and miscarriages. If you are pregnant or want to get pregnant, avoiding alcohol is the first thing you can do.
Refrain from Smoking
Smoking is a dangerous activity for you and your baby. It can cause low birth weight, premature birth and birth defects like cleft palate. It is best if you can quit smoking before you even get pregnant. If your spouse smokes, he too should quit or at least make sure that he doesn't smoke in your presence.
Ensure Good Health
Your health has a direct effect on your baby's health. If you are healthy, your baby too will be born hale and hearty. Eat healthy food and eat at a regular time. Exercise regularly even if it is light exercise. Yoga and meditation will be good for your mental health
Some infections that happen during the pregnancy are known to cause abnormalities and birth defects in babies. Genital herpes and toxoplasmosis are examples of such infections and are known to cause retardation, learning disabilities and hearing impairment. You should take care of hygiene and must try and stay away from people who have contagious diseases.