Birth defects prevention focuses on medication use
Posted: Wednesday, January 26, 2011 8:01 pm
This is National Birth Defects Prevention Month and this year’s campaign, presented by the National Birth Defects Prevention Network, focuses on medication use before, during and after pregnancy.
Baptist Hospital advises women of childbearing age to talk with a doctor about which medications are safe to take while pregnant or trying to conceive.
“Women of childbearing age should discuss any medications they are using, whether prescription or over-the-counter, with a doctor,” said Dr. Connie Graves.
She is a maternal fetal medicine specialist at Baptist Hospital in Nashville.
Not all medications should be discontinued during pregnancy; some may need to be changed or adjusted.
Medical conditions such as diabetes, influenza, high blood pressure and asthma need to be managed during pregnancy.
A baby’s organs, such as the heart, brain and spine, begin developing in the first few weeks, before a woman may realize she is pregnant. For that reason, it is important for women to have conversations with their health care provider about medications before pregnancy.
Every woman should take a multivitamin with 400 micrograms of folic acid daily, starting before pregnancy, to improve the likelihood of delivering a healthy baby.
Pregnant women should also eat a healthy diet, avoid alcohol and get a flu shot.
For more information about prenatal care and child bearing, visit www.baptisthospital.com or the March of Dimes website, www.marchofdimes.com.
Baptist Hospital is a member of Saint Thomas Health Services, a faith-based ministry with more than 6,500 associates serving Middle Tennessee.
Saint Thomas Health Services’ regional health system is a member of Ascension Health, a Catholic organization that is the largest not-for-profit health system in the United States.
For more information, visit www.baptisthospital.com or www.sths.com.