If you’re trying to have a baby, it’s not just important to learn how to conceive a child, it’s important to learn how to live a healthy life so that you can carry a healthy baby. While a majority of women carry their baby to term and have healthy deliveries, the percentage of babies that are born today with complications or birth defects is still too high.

About 3 percent, or 150,000 babies, are born with some type of birth defect. Medical professionals have worked closely with researchers in an effort to prevent birth defects. While not all birth defects are preventable, here are some of the ways expectant moms can be proactive in adopting healthy behaviors while they are pregnant:

See a Healthcare Professional Regularly

Healthcare professionals are magicians but they can help you identify treatable issues early on in your pregnancy. The best way that you can prevent birth defects is by getting prenatal care as soon as possible. Professionals in areas where poverty rates are high may offer special programs to low-income mothers-to-be to ensure they get the attention that they need.

Professionals Are Stressing the Importance of Folic Acid

Moms who go to prenatal appointments are more likely to take folic acid supplements, which aid in brain and spine development and helps prevent major defects. By taking 400 micrograms of folic acid daily, it can help prevent spina bifida and anencephaly. Moms are also more likely to gain access to the nutrients that they need to have a baby at a healthy weight.

C-Sections to Prevent Congenital Infections

If a mom suffers from a herpes simplex virus infection when she’s going to go into delivery, it can be unsafe for the mother to deliver vaginally. Medical professionals have found that the best way to prevent a congenital disease is to deliver by cesarean section so that the baby doesn’t have the risk of mother-to-child transmission.

Improving Labor Care to Prevent Birth Asphyxia

Birth asphyxia is an extremely broad term used in labor and delivery that refers to a condition caused when there is a lack of oxygen during delivery and it causes moderate to severe neurological damage in newborns. Newborns who suffer from this birth defect may have learning difficulties and slowed motor skills. In some cases, the lack of oxygen can lead to death.

While the number of babies born with birth asphyxia is lower in the US than other developing countries, it’s still higher than doctors would like. To combat the problem, hospitals in the US have adopted a procedure where the fetus is monitored using a cardiotocograph during delivery. If at any time there’s a trace that the fetus is in distress, the doctor will assess the situation and then determine if C-section is necessary.

You rely on health professionals with decades of training and experience to make the best decisions when it comes to delivering your baby. If you ever feel like a doctor’s negligence is what lead to your child having birth defects, you may have a malpractice case. You’ll have to look over the circumstances with a professional attorney and discuss your options for compensation since your little one may never live a normal life.