Quick Tips for Preventing Birth Defects

6259690920 847235a110 m Quick Tips for Preventing Birth DefectsDo you know that some birth defects are preventable? Amazingly, it’s estimated that up to half of all birth defects are able to be prevented by a simple dietary change (please see tips below to learn more).

While some birth defects and disabilities are perhaps partially preventable, fetal alcohol spectrum disorders are reported to be completely preventable.

Fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD’s) are birth defects that (reportedly) “are 100 percent preventable – if a woman doesn’t drink alcohol while she’s pregnant.”

While it may sound far-fetched, it’s true–fetal alcohol spectrum disorders are reported to be completely preventable by the avoidance of alcohol.

Tips for preventing birth defects:

– Do not drink alcohol – Since fetal alcohol spectrum disorders are said to be caused by drinking alcohol in any amount, it is best to totally avoid alcohol during pregnancy.

Please visit http://www2c.cdc.gov/podcasts/media/pdf/BirthDefects_Alcohol.pdf to read all about fetal alcohol spectrum disorders as they relate to drinking alcohol during pregnancy.

– Take folic acid – Please see the section of this posting below that discusses folic acid and its powerful ability to prevent birth defects.

– Avoid smoking – This cannot be overemphasized. Please visit http://www.cdc.gov/Features/PregnantDontSmoke/ to learn all about smoking during pregnancy.

– “Prevent infections” – There are many ways to do this. Not changing dirty cat litter, washing your hands often, not drinking raw milk, and steering clear of people who have infections are just a few ways to avoid infections.

Visit http://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/pregnancy_gateway/infections.html to learn more ways to prevent infections.

– Eat a balanced diet – Visit http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/fn-an/food-guide-aliment/index-eng.php to learn about Canada’s food guide pyramid.

Folic acid is a powerful form of birth defect prevention.

Folic acid can prevent neural tube defects (NTD’s). Spina bifida and anencephaly are both neural tube defects. Contact your healthcare provider about folic acid as it relates to you and your baby. See http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/hl-vs/iyh-vsv/med/folic-folique-eng.php and http://www.phac-aspc.gc.ca/fa-af/index-eng.php to learn about folic acid and the prevention of birth defects.

As many as half of certain birth defects could be prevented if women of childbearing age consumed an adequate amount of folic acid, either by eating sufficient quantities of food fortified with folic acid or by taking vitamin supplements, according to new Clinical Guidelines released today for Canadian health care professionals.”

Many prenatal multivitamins contain only 1 mg of folic acid; depending on various factors, some pregnant women may require up to 5 mg of folic acid. Talk to your healthcare professional about what amount of folic acid is right for you.

Remember, it’s best to have folic acid in your system before you become pregnant; ask your doctor when you should begin taking folic acid.

The tips listed in this post represent just a few ways to prevent birth defects in your baby. Please see http://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/birthdefects/prevention.html to learn about even more ways that you can keep your baby as birth defect-free as is in your control to do.









*Please note: All research for this article is compiled from direct and third party sources. Mention of programs, organizations and companies does not imply support of The National Benefit Authority.  Pictures are for creative purposes only; they are not intended to sell or promote products for the NBA and belong to the accredited individual, organization or company.

Image made available by d:space on Flickr through Creative Commons License.

Let’s Talk About It

Did you know that folic acid was so powerful in preventing birth defects?

What are your thoughts on fetal alcohol spectrum disorders? Did you know that they were completely preventable by the avoidance of alcohol?

















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2 Responses to Quick Tips for Preventing Birth Defects

  1. Heidi Q says:
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    I am a fetal alcohol specialist and work with children, teens and adults affected by FASD. FASD is a PERMANENT change in brain function. Alcohol is a teratogen which means that it dehydrates the brain. Many people believe that recreational drug use would be far more damaging to a fetus in utero but they are wrong. That was very surprising to me, but those drugs affect the central nervous system, the organs of the body such as the liver, spleen, and heart while the drug is coursing through their system. The body is able to rid the drug from itself through detox with no permanent damage. Painful, and unfair for a baby but that child can grow to be healthy and to have a healthy brain.

    Alcohol creates PERMANENT BRAIN DAMAGE. There is no pill or treatment that will fix the child. Even if they ‘look’ normal (which 90% them do, by the way) they will have lifelong challenges to understand cause and effect, exercise good judgement, reign in their impulses, and live a happy,successful life. These children are often labelled as ‘bad’ when in fact they are hurt, and the misunderstandings through their life affect friendships (keeping friends), opportunities for work advancement, and they have a much larger chance at getting in trouble with the law than any other population! Because FASD is an ‘invisible disability’ it is one of the most misunderstood conditions by teachers, neighbours, friends and family. To know that just by NOT drinking as soon as you are open to becoming pregnantl, you can eliminate all chances of this ever affecting your child’s brain, is truly a no-brainer decision. No drinking, no FASD. Let’s do all we can to prevent it and spread the word!


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