Having a baby is the beginning of an incredible life journey. Getting your
body ready and then keeping it healthy during your pregnancy is one of
the best ways to help prevent birth defects and ensure the healthiest
life possible for your child. While you can't prevent all birth defects,
you can certainly give your baby the best chance of being born without
life-long health issues.
If you are planning to get pregnant, talk to your physician about prenatal
vitamins, including taking folic acid which can help prevent defects of
the brain and spine. If you drink alcohol, slow down or stop now. When
you drink, your baby drinks. And because it's most likely you'll
be pregnant for a few weeks before you know it, changing that lifestyle
habit early is a good idea. Alcohol can cause a wide range of health issues,
not the least of which is a miscarriage.
It's a no-brainer to say – DON'T USE ILLICIT DRUGS! And if
you use tobacco, stop. Smoking can cause premature births, low birth weight,
birth defects like cleft palate and even infant death. Quitting smoking
can be a challenge, but remember you are doing it for the good health
of your child and yourself as the best mother you can be.
Most importantly, get regular health care throughout your pregnancy. Your
obstetrician can answer questions, provide you with guidance in how to
have the healthiest baby possible, and reassure you that your pregnancy
is going well.
If you need a referral to a qualified obstetrician, call our free health
information and physician referral line at 850-864-0213.