What Are The Tips To Prevent Birth Defects?

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Studies show that approximately 150,000 children in the United States are born every year with one or more birth defects. Even though the cause of over 60% of birth defects are unknown, certain things may help to ensure optimal health for your baby.

Awareness and education play a vital role in preventing birth defects. The awareness and education must be followed by action and there are number of things that can be taken care of in order to increase the probability of having a healthy pregnancy and a healthy baby.

Following are variety of tips that can be used to prevent birth defects:

  • Maintaining preconception health by eating well balanced and nutritional meals, and taking a multivitamin daily is the first and foremost tip;
  • In case you are sexually active and if pregnancy is a possibility, make sure to take a multivitamin daily, including folic acid and other essential B vitamins.
  • Avoid all activities that may lead to birth defects including alcohol, tobacco, illicit drugs, and caffeine intake.
  • Take an annual gynecological and wellness exam.
  • Obtain genetic counseling and birth defect screening, if you possess a family history of birth defects or if you are 35 years of age or older.

If your family or friends are considering conceiving, and are concerned about the possibility of birth defects, encourage them to get screened.