Preventing Birth Defects: What You Can Do

It’s the last thing any expecting mother wants to hear: that the baby she’s been waiting for may not be as ready to meet the world as she expected.

Birth defects run the spectrum from minimal to critical. No matter what, they are always a source of concern, and often grief, for parents. What is even worse is the knowledge that these defects could possibly have been prevented. To do so requires a careful pregnancy.

perey7_8We at the Perey Law Group have represented a great number of cases dealing with preventable birth defects that have resulted by dangerous pharmaceutical drugs, medical negligence or other causes. Our experience has shown us certain patterns that can often lead to birth defects. In order to help prevent more parents from experiencing this tragedy, we offer a comprehensive resource on how to take care of yourself and do the utmost to ensure your baby is born healthy.

Here are some highlights:

Schedule a Pre-Conception Doctor’s Visit

If you’re thinking about getting pregnant, don’t wait—see your doctor! Your doctor can help you analyze your personal and family medical history for possible liabilities and make a plan to prepare your body for certain risk factors. Many birth defects take place in the very first days after conception, before a woman even realizes that she has missed a menstrual cycle. Knowing the likelihood of your body’s response to pregnancy before it happens gives you an opportunity to preempt the possibilities that might be inside of you.

Prevent Infections

The common cold that annoys you in the winter can be deadly to your unborn child. Prepare your body to fight not only for your own health, but for your baby’s. Talk to your doctor about getting your immunizations up to date before conceiving, create a plan for addressing any sickness in the best way possible and take extra good care of yourself…especially during flu season!

Manage Medications Well

Nine in 10 pregnant women take at least one medication during pregnancy, and 70% of women take at least one prescription drug. A study of 172 approved medications showed that nearly 98% of them have an unknown effect on an unborn child. This includes anti-depressants, painkillers, acne drugs and even fertility and labor-inducing drugs.

While pregnant, don’t start or stop taking any drugs, medications or even herbal remedies without consulting your doctor first. But be certain you do consult with them about what you do take early on — preferably before you even become pregnant.

Personal Health

It’s an unavoidable fact that obesity increases risk for birth defects. But even those with decent diet and exercise habits ought to take extra good care with their nutrition, bumping up certain nutrients for their baby’s benefit. In particular, folic acid is vital to a growing brain and spine development. Create a plan for optimal wellness during your pregnancy—you’ll feel better, and you’ll be helping your baby, as well.

If the Worst Happens

The team at Perey Law have seen more than their fair share of birth defect cases. To help understand how they happen, and also help prevent them, read through our chart detailing the research on common causes of birth defects.

If you need help in a case of birth defect due to malpractice and negligence, contact us today at (206) 443-7600 for a free, no-obligation consultation to learn about your rights and options. We are ready to fight on your behalf.

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