Pregnancy is an exciting phase for every couple. If you are also planning to get pregnant in the near term, it is advisable to be aware of birth defects that can destroy your dreams. You will be surprised to know that there are more than 4000 varieties of birth defects that have been discovered till date. Every year, thousands of children in the US are born with multiple defects. Many of these birth defects can be directly linked to the diet during your pregnancy, and you should be very careful about this factor. Try to stay away from any food that affects the growth of your child. Remember that the baby also gets essential nutrition from the food you eat and you should always be very careful about what you eat during pregnancy.
Even though most birth defects are genetic in nature, there is a chance of having them increase with an unhealthy diet during pregnancy. If the mother is exposed to environmental hazards, the growth of baby can get affected and lead to a birth defect. You have to understand that birth defects in most cases cannot be reversed, and there is no option but to survive with that for the rest of the life. In this regard, it makes sense to have a healthy diet during your pregnancy.
Can Birth Defects be Linked to Diet:
Having a healthy diet is very important during pregnancy, and the lack of essential nutrients can lead to a host of birth defects. For instance, Spina bifida is one such defect that affects the spinal column and eventually leads to paralysis. Anencephaly is yet another birth defect that can affect the development of brain function and lead to early death. The surprising thing about these two defects is that both of them are usually caused due to deficiency of folic acid during pregnancy. It can be easily avoided by having the required amount of folic acid in your diet.
Other than that, having prenatal vitamin supplements is also very essential to provide the required nutrients to the growing child. These vitamins not only improve the health of the baby but will also provide sufficient nutrition to the mother so that she can deliver a healthy baby and avoid the condition of premature births. Having a good dose of iron and calcium supplements is very essential for the proper development of the baby.
Birth Defects Linked to Vitamin B2 and B3 Deficiency During Pregnancy:
Vitamin B2 and B3 deficiency can lead to congenital heart disease, and the condition will exaggerate when the diet is high in saturated fats. To avoid this situation, foods like whole grains, nuts, chicken and fish should be included in the diet during pregnancy.
Birth Defect Linked to Low Protein and Zinc Diet During Pregnancy:
Gastrochisis, a type of birth defect, is a result of low protein and zinc diet during pregnancy. Women who have low body mass index are at more risk of passing on this defect in which the abdominal wall of the child has a tear or fissure. Even regular smoking can increase the chances of gastroschisis.
Vitamin D Deficiency During Pregnancy Can Lead to Birth Defects in Child:
This is very essential and will reduce the risk of premature birth by a huge margin. Remember that we get most of the supply of vitamin D from the Sun and not from our diet. However, during pregnancy, it is essential to get a regular diet of vitamin D food that will provide the required nutrients to the body. It will protect against many birth defects like autism.
Vitamin D is vital to build your baby’s bones and teeth. Diet deficient in Vitamin D during pregnancy can cause musculoskeletal deformities, growth retardation, and birth weight.
Not only that, most pregnant women who have a deficiency of vitamin D will suffer from high blood pressure. Make sure to get an oral dose of vitamin D during pregnancy.
Things to Avoid in Your Diet During Pregnancy to Prevent Birth Defects:
To have a healthy pregnancy, it is very much important to avoid smoking and alcohol at any cost as it can trigger a variety of birth defects and may even lead to premature births. Other than that, pregnant women should also be careful about eating undercooked meat and foods that come from unhygienic places. Some people also prefer to avoid drinking unpasteurized milk even though it is not very essential during pregnancy. Consumption of excess fructose can lead to insulin resistance in the body and will cause inflammation of the body. This can lead to various complications during pregnancy, and you should avoid processed foods which are the main source of excess fructose. Instead, you can choose to get the required amount of healthy fructose from fresh fruit sources which will not harm the body. Other than that, it is also very important to avoid junk food and lead a healthy and active lifestyle during pregnancy that will drastically reduce the chances of birth defects.