Arizona pregnant women may not be aware about the growing number of medications that have been linked with birth defects and even infant fatalities. In addition to not smoking or drinking during pregnancy, certain other circumstances should be avoided if possible to prevent harm to the fetus.
Environmental factors may cause congenital abnormalities to develop in a baby. Mercury exposure can cause neurological deficiencies that resemble cerebral palsy. Mercury is commonly found in certain kinds of fish and can even be the cause of mental retardation in a baby. Lead exposure can cause fetal growth restrictions and neurological problems. Fetal development issues, including cleft palate, spina bifida and blindness can occur as the result of an X-ray depending on the dose of radiation. Pregnant women or women who think they may be pregnant should communicate with their caregivers if an X-ray has been ordered.
Teratogens are substances that are linked with causing congenital abnormalities and may include certain medications women are already used to taking. Drugs used in the prevention of epileptic episodes can contribute to cardiovascular issues in the baby, cleft palate or the underdevelopment of the brain. Medications used in the treatment of anxiety are linked to cleft lip or palate. Depression medications can cause subtle symptoms, but not taking the medication could also bring harm to the baby. Women who are being treated for depression with selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors should talk to their doctors about the risks that may be associated with the drug.
Birth injuries can occur from a variety of influences, so women who are pregnant should consult with a medical professional about any concerns. Because pregnancy-related medical malpractice lawsuits are not uncommon, women who are expecting should take the time to research conditions that could affect their baby.