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Wednesday, November 01, 2017


Pregnancy Over 40, Prevent Birth Defects

Here is an informative article written for the FDA about decreasing the chance of birth defects.

Although some of the information here is widely known (i.e. taking folic acid), they also discuss how conditions in the mother could increase the chance of birth defects. Read more:

Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies
A pregnant woman who has a serious medical condition may face a greater than normal risk that her child will have a birth defect. Diabetes, for example, can complicate a pregnancy in many ways.

Women who must take insulin daily to control their blood sugar are three or four times more likely to have a baby with major birth defects than are other mothers. That is not to say they should abandon insulin, however. Without it, many diabetic women and their babies wouldn�t survive pregnancy at all.

Birth defects among diabetics can be greatly reduced if women get their blood sugar levels under
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control before becoming pregnant and strictly manage their diets throughout pregnancy. Gestational diabetes, which develops during pregnancy, can also be harmful to mother and child, but it can be controlled through diet or medication.

Epilepsy also increases a woman�s chance of having a baby with a birth defect. It�s not clear whether the disease itself or the drugs used to control it cause malformations, but in either case, the woman�s neurologist and obstetrician should work together to find the safest course of treatment for the epilepsy and pregnancy.

Rubella, toxoplasmosis, cytomegalovirus, and syphilis can cause birth defects in the infants of women who have these infectious diseases. Rubella infection during early pregnancy can cause abnormalities of the heart, eyes and ears.

Any woman planning a pregnancy should be tested for rubella immunity and vaccinated if necessary. She must wait three months after vaccination before becoming pregnant, however, because the vaccine itself can endanger a developing fetus.

Toxoplasmosis is transmitted only through raw meat and cat feces, both of which pregnant women should try to avoid. The disease causes malformations of the brain, liver and spleen if a fetus becomes infected in the first trimester

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