Precautions to Take While Pregnant to Prevent Birth Defects

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Pregnant? How To Stay Healthy And Safe

Pregnancy is a happy time in the lives of mothers and fathers who are excited about becoming parents for the first time. During this time in a woman's life, she must take care to eat the right kinds of food, get enough rest, stay away from certain types of physical activity, such as heavy lifting, and be sure to stay away from harmful substances. Taking all of this advice into consideration will limit your child's chances of being born prematurely or with birth defects.

Avoid Consuming Alcohol

Alcohol consumption during pregnancy should be avoided at all costs. This is because anything the mother eats or drinks will pass through her umbilical cord and reach the unborn child. Alcohol can cause a woman to have a premature birth, and in the most severe cases, actually cause a stillbirth. Additionally, when unborn babies have been exposed to alcohol, it can cause them to have a lifetime of medical issues once they are born. Fetal Alcohol Syndrome is the most common birth defect that occurs when a pregnant woman drinks during pregnancy. Once the child is born, they can have several physical defects. They may also have issues with brain development and behavioral problems in their lives.

Toxoplasma

Cat litter is hazardous for a pregnant woman to handle. This is because little parasites called Toxoplasma gondii can be present in cat droppings. If you come into contact with this organism while pregnant and become infected, it may pass on to the unborn baby. This is concerning because toxoplasma can cause significant congenital disabilities once the child is born. It may cause blindness or brain damage in the child. Additionally, being exposed to this infection can cause a baby to develop cerebral palsy or hearing loss later in life.

Stay Away From X-rays

Many healthcare clinics will not offer you an x-ray if you are pregnant. In fact, this is one of the required questions that many clinics ask a patient beforehand. But if you are working as a radiologist technician and are unable to quit your day job, you run the risk of being exposed to radiation daily. Exposure to very high levels of radiation can cause issues with fetal growth and contribute to learning disabilities. Employers will usually work with pregnant staff in this occupation field to keep their team member and baby safe, and to reduce the risk of having to deal with a birth injury attorney.

In small doses, the radiation level does not seem to be harmful to children. Still, radiologic technologists should always be sure they know how much radiation they are exposed to to keep their babies safe.

Following these precautions can help a woman stay healthy during pregnancy and avoid birth defects that may cause problems for her baby down the line.

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