September is National Baby Safety Month. While the intention is to educate parents and caregivers about keeping infants safe and healthy during their first years of life, it also presents an opportunity to focus on your unborn baby.
Parents know, efforts to keep baby safe begin long before they come into the world. For expectant parents, safety is top of mind from the moment you learn you’re pregnant. There are a number of things any expectant mother can do while baby is still in the womb.
Avoid pain killers like aspirin during pregnancy. If you suffer from headaches, talk to your doctor about solutions. Also look at ways to battle pain using natural remedies including eating a snack, massages, and watching your posture.
Stop drinking. Immediately. Consumption of alcohol can lead to fetal alcohol syndrome, which can form as a number of abnormalities including microcephaly (small head and impaired brain development), joint anomalies, congenital heart defects, intrauterine growth restriction, and others. Despite what you may read, there is no known safe amount of alcohol to consume during pregnancy.
Avoid smoking. That includes stopping yourself as well as avoiding second-hand smoke. Nicotine is 15% more concentrated in the blood of the fetus than in the mother. Cigarette smoke can have devastating effects on a pregnancy, including preterm labor, SIDS, and cleft palate and lip.
Skip the anti-acne creams. Common ingredients in acne medications have been shown to cause birth defects. Speak to your doctor or dermatologist to find out which medications are safe. Ask them about alternatives, too.
Leave the litter box alone. Cat feces carries toxoplasmosis which can be very harmful to a fetus. If you have a cat, get someone else to clean out the litter box for you during your pregnancy.
Skip the bug spray. Pesticides and repellents are essentially poison which is why while pregnant, you should stay away from them. If bugs around the house are a problem, try citronella candles while outside.
Be careful in the car. There are an estimated 3,000 pregnancies lost every year because of car crashes. Make sure to wear your seatbelt with the straps above and below the belly. Also, move the chair back as far as possible to lessen the impact of the airbag in case of a crash. If you are in a fender bender, no matter how minor, make sure to see your doctor immediately.
Take folic acid. All pregnant women or women planning to become pregnant should be getting 400 mcg of the supplement each day. Folic Acid is vital in preventing neural tube defects like spina bifida as well as reducing the risk of a number of other health concerns and conditions.
Learn more about folic acid and its benefits, by visiting https://vitaminforlife.org/faq.