Every year, thousands of babies are born with birth defects. These are conditions that happen when a baby is developing in the womb. Birth defects can affect many different parts of the body, such as the heart, brain, or limbs. They can be mild or severe, and may cause lifelong challenges for the child.
There are many factors that can contribute to the occurrence of birth defects. Some of these factors include genetic abnormalities, exposure to harmful substances during pregnancy, infections, and certain medications. It is important for pregnant women to take good care of themselves and avoid anything that could harm the unborn baby.
One way to prevent birth defects is for women to take folic acid before and during pregnancy. Folic acid is a B vitamin that helps the baby’s neural tube develop properly. Neural tube defects are among the most common birth defects, and taking folic acid can greatly reduce the risk.
Another vital step towards preventing birth defects is for women to avoid smoking, drinking alcohol, and using illegal drugs during pregnancy. These substances can cause serious harm to the developing baby and increase the chances of birth defects.
In addition to personal actions, there are public health programs working to prevent birth defects. These programs provide information, resources, and support to pregnant women and their families. They also work to raise awareness about the importance of prenatal care and healthy lifestyle choices.
Birth defects can be devastating for both the child and their family. By taking proactive measures, such as taking folic acid, avoiding harmful substances, and seeking prenatal care, we can reduce the risk of birth defects.