Birth defects can interfere with important functions of the body. Unfortunately, thousands of babies born in maternity hospitals each year are diagnosed with birth defects. Although not all birth defects are preventable, there are some steps expectant moms can take to safeguard the health of their little ones. If you’re looking forward to welcoming a child, you can talk to a healthcare provider at a maternity hospital about staying healthy during pregnancy.
No amount of alcohol is safe during pregnancy. Each time an expectant mom consumes alcohol, her baby does too. By avoiding alcohol during all three trimesters, expectant moms can eliminate the possibility of fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASDS). These are a group of conditions that can cause learning disabilities, vision and hearing problems, and central nervous system problems, among many others.
Another way to keep a baby safe is to avoid smoking cigarettes, cigars, pipes, and secondhand smoke, along with recreational drugs. Smoke inhalation during pregnancy can place a child at risk of being born with cleft lip or cleft palate, and being born prematurely.
Take Folic Acid
Expectant moms should get 400 micrograms of folic acid each day to prevent neural tube birth defects , such as spina bifida and anencephaly. Ideally, women who are trying to become pregnant would also supplement with folic acid.
When taken during pregnancy, certain medications can increase the risk of serious birth defects. Women who are trying to become pregnant or discover that they are pregnant can talk with a healthcare provider at their community hospitals about their current medications. It’s also important to discuss any dietary or herbal supplements.
The team at the maternity department of Good Samaritan Hospital looks forward to helping you welcome your little bundle of joy into the world! When you choose our community hospital in San Jose for your labor and delivery, you can rest assured knowing that it offers advanced technology, plus all the comforts of home. For more information about our maternity hospital, call our Consult-A-Nurse referral line at (408) 559-2011.