One of the most important questions a mother, or an expecting mother, may have is how do I protect my child? The truth is that you cannot protect your child from everything. However, you can do a lot to protect them before they even enter the world. Prenatal care has been shown to be one of the most important aspects of a person’s life. If the fetus is not in a proper environment, both inside and outside of the womb, there can be huge consequences including death. There are many potential hazards of prenatal care including, environmental hazards, blood types, and drug interactions. All of these hazards can be avoided with education and support from others. With proper prenatal care, the child has greatly decreased chances of birth defects, and a better chance at a healthy life.
Environmental hazards are one of the most over looked hazards for an expecting mother. The main reason why these types of hazards are overlooked is because the chemical substances found in environmental hazards can be stored within someone’s body for many years. An Environmental Working Group, Body Burden: The Pollution in Newborns, a national research and advocacy organization, randomly examined the umbilical cords of 10 newborns and found 287 different chemicals, including pesticides that have been banned for more than 30 years (Ondeck, 2009). This shows that careful mothers, that thought they were chemical free, still had potentially dangerous chemicals in their systems. Therefore, many mothers may have chemicals still stored in their body’s that could potentially harm their baby. Once a chemical is inside ones body, it may take years for the chemical to disappear, therefore, the best way to prevent these chemicals from effecting a baby, is to avoid them at all costs. The most common environmental hazards exposures that mothers should be aware of are lead, methyl mercury, and tobacco smoke. These chemicals were used more frequently in past years than in current times, however these chemicals can still be found in modern life.
Lead can be ingested in the dust from paint, soil, water, and foreign bodies. It is important to note that lead is tasteless in water and should always be checked before consumption. If lead contaminated water is a concern for an expecting mother, easy solutions are heating up water before drinking, purchasing a filtering system, or purchasing bottled water. Low levels of exposure of lead can be very dangerous and should be taken seriously. Lead can cause cognitive impairment, inattentiveness, disorganized behavior, and delayed growth during puberty (Ondeck, 2009). The best way to avoid lead consumption would be to purchase a testing product to test things such as paint, soil, and water.
Methyl mercury is also a common chemical that any expecting mother should avoid. Now-a -days methyl mercury is mainly found in ocean fish such as swordfish and shark. According to Ondeck, a mother’s diet that contains high levels of methyl mercury can cause...