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How to Prevent Congenital Defects in the Newborn During Pregnancy Itself

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Pregnant mothers should care about themselves and their baby. Having a healthy pregnancy is very essential in preventing poor pregnancy outcomes both for the mother and the baby. Expecting mothers usually think about their babies more than themselves during pregnancy. They fear of any complications or congenital anomalies in their child. Because of this, mothers usually do measures in order to make their pregnancy healthy. However, because of lack of knowledge regarding pregnancy and fetal development, they usually are not aware of the possible effects of some of their actions. This lack of knowledge is usually the main reason for the development of congenital anomalies. Here are the recommendations to prevent poor outcomes in the fetus inside the uterus:

Avoid smoking

Smoking is one of the most common teratogen. Teratogens are substan

Final weeks of pregnancy

Final weeks of pregnancy (Photo credit: storyvillegirl)

ces that produce harsh effects to the fetus. Smoking brings about vasoconstriction that significantly affects the blood circulation to the fetus. Smoking brings about effects such as small for gestational age newborn and premature delivery. In this regard, smoking should be completely eradicated during pregnancy among smokers. Along with smoking cessation, second hand smoke should also be prevented.

Avoid alcohol intake

Alcohol is another potential teratogen. It causes fetal alcohol syndrome that literally means “drunken” fetus. The alcohol tends to cross the placental barrier, which causes effects to the fetus. Aside from effects to the fetus, alcohol may cause pregnancy induced hypertension, which may lead to fetal distress, premature delivery or still birth.

Avoid infections

The most potent infections that can cause teratogenic effects to the fetus include German measles, measles, cytomegalovirus, histoplasmosis, sexually transmitted diseases and urinary tract infections. German measles specifically cause congenital hypothyroidism and congenital cataract. Infections should be prevented by increasing the immune system as well as preventing contact with potentially infected individuals and vectors.

Increase folic acid during pregnancy

Folic acid is important in the formation of the central nervous system. Intake of folic acid prevents neural tube defects such as anencephaly or the incomplete closure of the cranium. It may also prevent spina bifida in the newborn. Folic acid may be taken in the form of oral supplements or can be found in natural sources such as green leafy vegetables, nuts and fish.

Increase iodine intake

Iodine is also an important mineral to prevent congenital defects in the newborn such as congenital hypothyroidism. Iodine is essential in the synthesis of thyroid hormones for normal metabolism.

Avoid intake of medications

As much as possible, medications should be avoided except in the indication of such by a physician’s prescription. Usually, the potential benefits to the mother and the fetus is seen compared to the potential side-effects to the fetus. Medications that have a category X meaning that it is not compatible to pregnancy include misoprostol, DES, retinoids and others.

The fetus inside the uterus has the right to healthy pregnancy in order to have a healthy well-being while inside the uterus. Mothers should see to it that they are properly equipped with the necessary knowledge in order to make their pregnancy healthy.

Guest Author Bio

Dr. Amarendra, the author writes at dental implants and www.dentalimplantsblog.co.uk. He enjoys blogging.

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