Preventing Childhood Disability
According to worldbank.org, one billion people or 15% of the world’s population, experience some form of disability. Five percent of these people are children with disabilities.
Disabilities can be varying range of impairments from physical to mental. While some of these disabilities develop or are acquired post-birth, some are developed during pregnancy. Disabilities developed during prenatal are preventable.
Preferably, before getting pregnant, a mother must make certain lifestyle changes to protect the baby. Healthy pregnancy equals healthy baby. Some steps a mother should take during her pregnancy are:
Regularly show up for exams.
Physical examinations before and during pregnancy helps in monitoring the mother and baby’’s health. One should consult with a doctor before having a baby in order for the physician to recommend ways the mother can improve her health.
Mothers should disclose any medications she is taking before getting pregnant. This is important as many drugs can affect the development of the child.
Discuss dietary needs and restrictions.
Pregnancy requires the mother to be pay more attention to her supplement-intake. Folate is commonly prescribed to reduce the risk of defects. It is also advisable to inform physicians of one’s complete medical history for them to advise the patient properly.
No alcohol consumption.
It is a no-brainer that pregnant women are not allowed any single type of alcohol during pregnancy. Consumption or use of alcohol during pregnancy can cause Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, a birth defect that causes varying degrees of mental disabilities, behavior problems, and physical deformities.
Quit smoking and avoid second-hand smoke.
Smoking or even just breathing the smoke is a major threat to anyone’s life, especially to a pregnant woman and her baby. Smoking can cause bleeding that can eventually lead to death. Mothers who smoke are more likely to have miscarriages and produce underweight infants with birth defects. In addition, Sudden Deadth Syndrome happens more frequently in babies of smokers and infants are likely to develop learning disabilities and emotional and behavioral problems.
Sometimes, it is not enough for parents to do their best. Despite their utmost care and love, some children may still develop health problems. It’s best to remember not to point fingers when unfortunate things like these happen.