How serious are birth defects?
Birth defects can cause major physical, mental, or medical problems. Also, the main challenge associated with such defects is that not
all birth defects can be prevented and treated.
Prevent to protect
Not all birth defects can be prevented. But you can increase your chances of having a healthy baby by doing what you can to be
your healthiest self both before and during pregnancy. We also know that women can increase their chances of having a healthy baby by reducing their
risk of getting an infection during pregnancy.
Best for You. Best for Your Baby.
Tip 1 - Take 400 micrograms (mcg) of folic acid every day. Folic acid is a B-vitamin that can reduce the risk of birth defects of the brain and spine.
Tip 2 - Book a visit with your doctor before stopping or starting any medicine. Get early prenatal care and go to every appointment.
Tip 3 - Have the right vaccinations at the right time. Get a flu shot and Tdap vaccine during each pregnancy to help protect yourself
and your baby. Wash your hands often with soap and water to prevent infections.
Tip 4 - Reach and maintain a healthy weight before you get pregnant. Eat a healthy, balanced diet. Avoid unpasteurized (raw) milk and
foods made from it. Avoid eating raw or undercooked meat.
Tip 5 - Avoid alcohol, tobacco, and street drugs.
At Kauvery Hospital we offer comprehensive obstetric services for pregnant mothers including targeted anomaly scans.
We also have a team of paediatricians who provide special care after birth and routinely advocate new-born screening tests.
All said and done, whether or not you are planning a pregnancy, now is the time to prevent birth defects.
Article by Dr. Lakshmi Prashanth, MD (AIIMS)
Kauvery Hospital, Chennai.