Guide For Soon-To-Be Moms: 4 Health Tips to Prevent Birth Defects

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As a soon-to-be-mom, we’re sure you have your hands all full. There can be a million things to get ready for, such as decorating the baby’s new room, getting clothes, and planning your new life together. Although stressful, this new phase in your life can easily be one of the most joyful and exciting. However, when preparing for the way forward, you also need to realize that protecting your and your baby’s health is paramount. Unarguably, no future parent wants to think of this, but congenital disabilities are a bitter reality. Preventing them should be every parent’s utmost priority. 

Although some birth defects are non-preventable, many occur due to the parents being uninformed. The mother’s health and well-being directly impact the child, so it’s essential to change your lifestyle when you’re pregnant. If you’re willing to learn more about how you can prevent congenital disabilities, keep reading below. 

Maintain your body weight 

Undoubtedly, monitoring your weight, especially any fluctuations, is one of the most crucial factors pregnant women should consider. You have to maintain a healthy weight and diet, as it’ll make the pregnancy easier for you and your child. Although weight gain during pregnancy is natural, your doctor can advise you on what’s expected and what isn’t. If you already had a heavy physique before pregnancy, it’s best to alter your diet so you can protect your baby. 

Obesity in mothers may cause many congenital disabilities in the child and make it harder for doctors to detect these defects. Apart from obese women having a higher risk of developing gestational diabetes and hypertension, many other issues can affect the fetus directly. These can include developmental defects, neural tube defects, heart disease, and even stillbirth. 

Another crucial point worth mentioning here is the rise in childbirth injuries. Although they’re different from congenital disabilities, being aware of them is highly critical. Parents should know about the various types of birth injuries and how medical malpractice or negligence could lead to one. Awareness will help you prevent them or seek help if your child suffers from one. 

Approach your doctor before starting or stopping any medication 

Pregnant women often need to take several vitamins, minerals, and medications to ensure they can fulfill their baby’s nutritional needs. Additionally, you may already be taking some medicines for any health condition. When you get pregnant, you need to schedule regular meetings with your doctor to determine which medications you need to take and which ones to avoid. Sometimes women can get skeptical about taking all these vitamins and consider stopping. However, various vitamins and supplements are essential for your child’s development, and you can’t stop them randomly. 

Moreover, you’ll have to reconsider the medications you take for other health purposes. Many medicines can cross the placenta and the blood-brain barrier of your child and cause congenital disabilities. Your doctor can advise whether you should stop taking these medications until you give birth or if you can switch to safer options. 

Keep your vaccination schedule updated 

When your child is growing in the womb, it’s incredibly vulnerable. The immune system is underdeveloped, and your child cannot fight off any diseases, even if they’re somewhat mild. And that’s why you need to be vigilant about your health when you’re pregnant because your health directly impacts your child. Although your body might be fully capable of fighting off diseases, you can’t prevent them from affecting your baby. Therefore, one of the most critical health tips to consider when pregnant is staying updated on all your vaccinations. 

When you’re pregnant, you might not want to miss your vaccination schedule, even for something which may seem irrelevant. Flu shots are just as important as getting vaccinated for rubella, mumps, chickenpox, and more. So, plan to get these to ensure your baby suffers no infections and is completely healthy at birth. With the pandemic still underway, it’s best to limit your exposure to other people while you’re pregnant. Also, follow all the safety protocols to minimize the risk of any harm to your child. 

Stay active 

When you’re pregnant, the last thing you’ll want to do is get up and exercise. It’s okay to feel sluggish and tired during your pregnancy, but sometimes the best choice for you – and your baby – is to get moving. As you put on the extra weight, you’re likely to experience stress on your joints and back, which can cause all sorts of aches and pains. But exercise can build muscle strength and endurance and make it easier for your body to deal with pregnancy. 

Exercise can release serotonin, which can have an excellent effect on you and your baby. Additionally, exercise can lower your risk of developing gestational diabetes, prevent the risk of having an emergency C-section, and reduce labor pain. It can also limit the risk of congenital disabilities by keeping your pregnancy healthy and smooth. When you’re pregnant, your health means your baby’s health, and exercise can be one of the best ways of ensuring you both thrive. 

Conclusion 

As a soon-to-be-mom, your biggest priority right now would be the health of your child. Being scared about congenital disabilities is normal, but you can prevent them if you follow this guide. By monitoring your weight, getting the right medicines, and staying active, you’ll be well on your way to birthing a healthy baby. Besides, sticking to these tips will also ensure that you remain healthy and fit throughout pregnancy. 

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