Here’s how you can prevent avoidable child disabilities during pregnancy

New Delhi [India], Mar. 26 : Disabilities in children are difficult to diagnose and are often seen in the form of subtle signs like social awkwardness, withdrawal, hyperactivity or inability to focus on a particular task at hand etc.

In most cases the child is physically well formed and has no challenges there. We hear fancy new names and disabilities develop in kids these days and according to medical research, syndromes like autism, ADHD, acalculia, etc.

are one the rise. Since most of these are disabilities are linked to behavioral issues, parents are often blamed for poor parenting rather than anything else.

"Parents often wonder where they have gone wrong but the fact is that many of these disabilities may be genetic in nature or associated with exposure to toxins in uterus during pregnancy," says Dr.

Seema Sharma, Obstetrician-Gynecologist, Srishti- The Gynae clinic. It is hard to pin point reasons and usually there are multiple reasons for any syndrome to develop. Little bit of care in eating and in other aspects of life can go a long way to avoid these preventable causes of learning disabilities.

Following are a few suggestions which may be of help to adopt during pregnancy: 1) Reduce exposure to cigarette smoke; both active and passive during pregnancy.

Maximum harm comes from being within two meters of smoker. That may mean leaving the room where someone is smoking. 2) Reduce environmental toxins and chemical exposure by way of hair colors, bleaches etc. For women who are in public relations and have to be well groomed all the time may not have much choice but majority can still cut on un-necessary exposure especially in the first trimester.

3) If at all someone needs to use excess cosmetic products it is best to use good quality products of standard companies.

They are more likely to stick to standards and their products are more likely to have passed the animal testing before coming to the market.

It is very difficult to test each and every product as each cream or product is a concoction of multiple ingredients and often the ingredients are not even mentioned on the label for reasons of secrecy etc.

Best is to minimize their use especially in the first trimester when the developing baby is most vulnerable.

4) Eat healthy- avoid roadside food, chaats etc. which are more likely to make you sick. The germs and then medications may directly or indirectly affect your baby. 5) Avoid recreational drugs like alcohol, cocaine etc. even in small quantities during pregnancy as these are known to affect brain development in the growing fetus.

6) Exposure to pesticides may increase the risk of certain disorders and disabilities. Though we cannot totally rid our food of pesticides, we recommend that you wash your fruits and vegetables well by soaking them before eating.

This is true for fruits like grapes and plums which may have extremely high content of pesticide in them.

Peel fruits like apple or sapota before eating as the top layer has the highest concentration of pesticide.

This may reduce the nutritional content a little but would also reduce the harmful pesticides also. Fruits like mangoes should also be peeled first and then eaten so no part of peel touches the mouth. 7) Last but not the least, conceive at the right age. Research indicates that increased age of the mother or father is linked to higher rates of autism in the children.

Source: ANI