A birth defect is a condition when a baby is born with a certain deformity like clubfoot, extra fingers, hearing loss and heart defects. Specialists have sought to find the causes of birth defects and come to discover that some birth defects are caused by exposure during pregnancy to medications, chemicals, and infections. Gynecologists admit that there are many factors that increase the risk of having a baby with a birth defect. They assure that you might have a birth defect in certain cases when you are old, for example.
Some researchers show that miscarriages occur to varying degrees; for women younger than 35, it is 10 to 12 %; for 35 to 39 years old, it is 18 % and for women whose ages range between 40 and 44 years old, it raises to 34 %. Many obstetricians claim that the causes of birth complications might be because of family or personal history of birth defects.
Some parents pass down their diseases to their kids because of the genes and chromosomes they carry in their blood. These genes are transmitted to the fetus. This can lead to serious birth defects. Many health care professionals assure that obesity has a certain impact on your pregnancy. You might be wondering right now about how is birth defect related to pregnancy? Many specialists say that obese women who become pregnant have an increased risk of having babies with specific birth defects in contrast to women who are a normal weight.
Some of the birth defects associated with obesity include neural tube defects, heart defects, and cleft palate. Another risk factor that leads to birth defects is alcohol. Drinking alcohol during pregnancy causes different effects on the fetus. ‘’Fetal alcohol spectrum disorders’’ explains the effects caused by alcohol on the fetus when a woman is pregnant. This is the most severe disorders that result from the use of alcohol during pregnancy. This syndrome may cause abnormalities in brain development, physical growth, facial features and so on.
The recreational drug is another serious risk factor which affects your pregnancy. Health care specialists assure that the use of drugs such as heroin, cocaine, methamphetamine, marijuana and all drugs prescribed by physicians can do harm to your baby. Such drugs will seriously lead to growth problems in the baby, emotional, behavioral, and learning problems.
The drugs will increase the risk of preterm birth. If you want to be a great mother without any problems during pregnancy, you need to worry about certain things. You should pay attention to infections like Rubella or german measles. This is a mild infectious disease that causes a sore throat and red spots all over the body. It can seriously affect babies born to women who catch soon after they become pregnant. If you have rubella during pregnancy, it can cause miscarriage, intellectual disability, heart defects, deafness and blindness in your newborn. Thus, infections can lead to complications such as preterm birth.
Toxoplasmosis is another dangerous disease caused by a parasite that lives in soil. You can be infected by eating raw meat or unwashed vegetables or even by coming into contact with animal feces. This disease can result in hearing loss, intellectual disability, and vision problems and this is the same for cytomegalovirus which is a common viral infection. Actually, there are plenty of risk factors that lead pregnant women to have problems either during pregnancy or after; both of them, mothers and their babies suffer because of such factors. However, many experts and health care professionals give some steps and advice mothers should follow. Some of them include:
- Do accurate and early diagnosis. If you have any medical condition, you should ask any special care that you may need before or during pregnancy. Try to have a health care visit before becoming pregnant.
- Consider prenatal testing. If you have a personal or family history of birth defects, you are required to have tests before becoming pregnant.
- Avoid using recreational drugs or drinking alcohol during pregnancy.
- Take multivitamins or prenatal vitamin before and during pregnancy such as vitamins A, C, and D; folic acid; and minerals such as iron.
- If you are planning a pregnancy, the best way to avoid problems related to obesity is to be at a normal weight before you become pregnant.
- Try to visit your gynecologist to discuss any changes you are in need to make in your diet and medication so as to make your condition under control before you become pregnant.
- Avoid all sorts of infections. You must see your doctor immediately if you have any symptom of infection such as fever, inflammation, cytomegalovirus, and rubella. Having rubella during pregnancy can lead to miscarriage and can result in deafness, intellectual disability, heart defects, and blindness.
- Avoid sexually transmitted infections
- Communicate with your health provider about your health condition and stick to your doctor’s prescriptions and advice.