Environmental Birth Defects - Frequently Asked Questions

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Dr. Trupti Shirole
Medically Reviewed by The Medindia Medical Review Team  on Sep 26, 2014
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Frequently Asked Questions

1. Which doctor should I consult if my unborn child is diagnosed of having a birth defect?

You can consult a genetic counselor.

2. How can environmental birth defects be prevented?

For the prevention of environmental birth defects a pregnant woman must take care of the following things -
  • Avoid alcohol intake during pregnancy
  • Avoid active and passive smoking during pregnancy
  • Avoid intake of any illicit drugs during pregnancy
  • Avoid unnecessary medications during pregnancy
  • Ensure that all the vaccinations are up to date
  • Ensure that she does not have any sexually transmitted disease (STD)
  • Take prenatal vitamins before conception (folic acid)
  • Eat healthy, exercise and rest

3. What are my chances of having a baby with a birth defect?

In the US one out of every 33 babies is born with a birth defect.

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I am very interested in research into the FAS and FASD developing in babies from the paternal side. I have read in literature from USA that binge drinking young males could damage the sperm count enough to father children with FAS or FASD even if the mother does not drink whilst pregnant. Is there any UK research on this subject?

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