Lowering Your Risk For Birth Defects

There are some simple steps you can take to help reduce your risk for birth defects.

Pregnant or hoping to become pregnant? While some birth defects are genetic in origin, there are some simple things you should be doing in order to help lower your risk for birth defects. In honor of National Birth Defects Prevention Month, here are some prenatal rules to follow:

  • Take a daily prenatal vitamin containing 400 micrograms of folic acid at least one month prior to and during pregnancy. Folic acid is a B vitamin that plays an important part in healthy development and the prevention of major birth defects of the spine and brain.
  • Watch your weight. Obesity before and during pregnancy can raise your risk for birth defects.
  • Don't drink alcohol or take illegal drugs while pregnant. In addition, consult your doctor prior to taking any prescription or over-the-counter drugs.
  • Don't smoke while pregnant. Smoking can lead to delivering prematurely and having a baby with a low birth weight. The odds of birth defects is greater in babies who are born prematurely.
  • Get proper prenatal care. Routine screenings and tests can help keep both you and your baby healthy. In addition, talk with your doctor about a healthy diet, and avoiding infections and conditions such as the flu.

Have more questions about preventing birth defects? Be sure to talk with your doctor. To learn more about our quality women's and children's services, visit us online or call us at (972) 420-1000. At Medical Center of Lewisville, we are dedicated to caring for the health of you and your baby.

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