Pediatricians on preventing birth defects

Pediatrician in Gastonia NC
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January is Birth Defects Prevention Month, and pediatricians have many suggestions on how women in Gastonia, NC who are planning to become mothers can avoid disastrous and sometimes fatal birth defects.

The time to start planning for a healthy pregnancy and childbirth is before you get pregnant in the first place. Most things that increase the risk of birth defects are things that are unhealthy for anyone, male, female, pregnant or otherwise. Pediatricians strongly recommend you stay away from tobacco products, alcohol and drugs, including marijuana, during pregnancy.

Obesity creates the risk of pregnancy complications and birth defects. Reducing your BMI to under 30 will remove this risk. If you suffer from diabetes, take special care to control the condition during pregnancy. If you take medications, ask your doctor and any pediatricians you know if they are appropriate for an expectant mother, and if not, if there are any alternatives.

Pediatricians: Folic acid good for women planning to be mothers

This week of January also happens to be Folic Acid Awareness Week, and, as it happens, folic acid plays an important role in preventing birth defects, some of which are fatal. A healthy amount of folic acid in your diet can greatly reduce the risk of anencephaly and spina bifida.

The bad news is that in order for it to work, you need to be taking folic acid when you become pregnant, or at least within the first few weeks — in other words, before you know you’re pregnant. Pediatricians recommend you make folic acid a part of your diet right now.

The good news is that you can find all the folic acid you need in a number of healthy and inexpensive foods. Enriched bread, rice and pasta have plenty of folic acid in them. If you’re on a gluten-free diet, lentils, peas and beans are also rich in folic acid. Green vegetables, especially asparagus, broccoli and spinach, are also good sources of this vitamin. There are also multivitamins that contain folic acid.

Pediatricians in Gastonia, NC

The best time to look for a pediatrician in your area is when your child is perfectly healthy, you are not in a hurry and you can afford to take the time to find the best. Gastonia Pediatric Associates is a pediatric clinic in a convenient location within the Charlotte area. It is one of the first medical practices for children in this area, and is owned and directed by its own physicians. It offers medical advice for parents 24 hours a day, and has provided personalized service to three generations of families. Its staff includes three physicians and three nursing staff. If you need a pediatrician for your family, contact Gastonia Pediatrics today.