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How To Prevent Birth Defects?

Reviewed by
Dr. Anjuli Dixit 91% (756 ratings)
DGO, MBBS
Gynaecologist, Faridabad  •  29 years experience
How To Prevent Birth Defects?

Although the cause of over 60% of birth defects are not known, there are things that you can do to help ensure optimal health for your baby.

There are a number of things you can do to increase the probability of having a healthy pregnancy and a healthy baby. Some are more challenging than others because they may require that you break bad habits, but it is worth your effort.

Here are a variety of tips you can use to prevent birth defects as you contemplate starting or adding to your family:

  1. The first and foremost tip is maintaining preconception health; eating well balanced and nutritional meals, and taking a multivitamin daily that includes the recommended 400 mcg of folic acid.
  2. If you are sexually active and pregnancy is a possibility, make sure you take a multivitamin daily, which includes the recommended 400 mcg of folic acid and other essential B vitamins.
  3. Avoid all activities that could potentially lead to birth defects, including alcohol, tobacco, illicit drugs, and caffeine.
  4. Seek an annual gynecological and wellness exam.
  5. Obtain genetic counseling and birth defect screening, particularly if you have any family history of birth defects or if you are 35 years of age or older.
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