On World Birth Defects Day, we want to take a moment to share what you can do to reduce your chance of giving birth to a baby with a birth defect. Before we list that information, however, you should know two things: most birth defects cannot be prevented because their cause is unknown; and babies, children, and adults living with a birth defect are people of worth -- and are worthy of love. It is reasonable to worry about a birth defect, but it is not reasonable to believe you can do everything "right" to prevent one. It is reasonable to worry about having a baby with a birth defect while still valuing and loving the children and families who live with or live with loss because of one.
The following tips are the few things you can do (mostly within your control -- some easy, some more difficult) to help prevent birth defects.
Pregnancy often causes added stress from all the things you're told you should do/not do and worry/not worry about. It's good to strike a balance of doing what you can do to achieve and maintain health, and get support for the the things you need help with, like stopping smoking or drinking, or starting a healthy diet and incorporating exercise.