This month, our Be Well post is from the National Birth Defects Prevention Network. They have a lot of facts on their website about just how prevalent birth defects are. They claim 1 in 33 babies every year suffer a birth defect, and cause 1 in 5 deaths. They can be caused by any number of factors, but are very commonly caused by environmental and other causes related to the mother, including vitamin deficiency. Even at the peak of health, some women can give birth to a child who has a birth defect.
Having a child is a very complex process in the body, and not all the factors of childbirth are well studied or understood. Some of the best ways to prevent defects is to get regular checkups, tests, and other vaccinations. Extra vitamins definitely dont hurt. One of the biggest factors is to keep from putting your body under stress.
Think about just how many parts of your body there are. There’s your brain, eyes, lungs, heart, bones, kidneys, your teeth, ears, nose, and fingers, and so much more. Everything has to grow into a large, complex system starting from a single cell. ANY stress such as the mother smoking, drinking, or doing -any- kind of drugs can disrupt that process and cause a child to have a birth defect. Even prescription medications can cause them.
The best thing a mother can do for her child is to look after herself and keep healthy. Washing hands, abstaining from drugs, and making sure to have all the vitamins you need can greatly reduce the risk of having a child with a birth defect. But each mothers needs are unique.
If you have any questions about medication or activities to be careful about,talk to your primary care physician. They’ll be more than happy to talk to you about your impending bundle of joy. If you’re really worried and need immediate assistance, you can visit the Urgent Care Center for immediate tests and treatments.