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Sunday, January 10, 2016

Neural Tube Defects in Pregnancy

When planning a pregnancy it is important to consult with your gyno regarding risks of any birth defects. And then you can plan when you stop contraception, and begin trying. It is important to know that there have not been birth defects associated with contraceptive pills.  Other co-factors in pregnancy may contribute to neural tube defects of the child in a given pregnancy. Thirty years ago research suggested that high maternal fevers in the critical first trimester may be a contributing factor. In fact this is one reason for worrying about hot tub exposure in that time as well, as core temperatures can rise dramatically with prolonged hot tub soaks. It is really the core temperature that affects the fetus the most, and women can heat to feverish levels in hot tubes if they aren't careful. So too, fevers in pregnancy should be brought down safely if a mom is sick.The neural tube closes at about the 4th week of pregnancy, so only two weeks after you miss your period. For women on the birth control pill, early pregnancy failures are more commonly missed and a source of exposure to risks like too low a folic acid intake that were unintended. Thus birth control pill supplementation is more critical.Vegans are at risk for B12 and riboflavin deficiency but low folate is not typically a risk of vegetarian diets in general.Genetic factors are possible for neural tube defects as well, so speak to your birth provider prior to pregnancy to see if she would have any other suggestions to help you prevent neural tube defects.


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