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Running to the Future

Maternity diet for preventing birth defects

Today we are living in the age of very fast technology and well aware about Motherhood diet for preventing any birth defects. Healthier dietary plans by pregnant women are linked with lesser risk of birth defects and leads to healthy baby. Actually, birth defects are structural or functional irregularity found at birth that cause physical and mental disabilities in babies. They are also a major reason of death in infants aged below 1 year. A mother, with wholesome nutrition before and during pregnancy can prevent many birth defects. So what is essential?

Folate or vitamin B9 is important for babies to save them from neural tube defects, known as "spina bifida". An ample amount of folic acid in diet is very useful when you're willing to get pregnant or when you're pregnant especially during the first trimester. You must take food sources containing folic acid like green vegetables, fortified grains, dried beans, peas as well as fruits, but if you want to take supplements, the daily recommendation is 400 mcg per day. Another vitamin that is necessary in avoiding tube defects is vitamin B12.

Beneficial food sources of vitamin B12 are dairy products, meat poultry and eggs. Women with poor or limited diets are also prone to delivering babies with neural tube defects. The mother's caloric intake is very important for fulfilling the baby's high nutritional requirement. Below, there are some birth defects caused by different nutrient deficiencies.

Maternity diet for preventing birth defects


Pregnant women having a diet low in riboflavin (vitamin B2) and niacin (vitamin B3) risk having babies with congenital heart disease, especially if they take diets high in saturated fats. Vitamin B2 is found in leafy vegetables alongside liver, whereas, food sources for vitamin B3 are chicken, fish, liver, nuts and whole grains.


Women with diets low in vitamin B12, vitamin E, calcium and retinol, build increased risk of baby with this type of birth defect.


Women taking low protein or zinc or have low body mass index (BMI), are vulnerable of having an infant with gastroschisis, a condition in which the abdominal wall of fetus has fissure or tear. Smoking is also the main cause it.


Pregnant women must avoid alcohol to prevent having a baby with fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS) in which the baby is poorly developed and could suffer life-long problems.


Women having restricted diets and not getting proper nutrition get much greater chances of delivering a baby with cleft palate, a birth defect in which the roof of the mouth doesn't completely close during development. Deficiency of vitamin A and folic acid in a mother's diet can lead to this deficiency. As explained above that how much good nutrition affects your baby, and a compromised diet can cause various birth defects in your baby.

Recommended prenatal vitamin supplements before and during pregnancy can prevent your baby from these issues. Healthy nutrition is very compulsory and pregnant women should plan their diets that support the health of their baby.