Poverty: A Powerful Factor

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“Poverty: A Powerful Factor” Each day there are numerous babies born with birth defects. Some defects are caused by uncontrollable genetic factors, but most form from preventable, environmental situations that pregnant women place themselves in. A large number of babies that develop birth defects are born to mothers of poverty. In reviewing the current numbers of infants born with birth defects and the effects poverty has on the maternal life of a woman, it can be determined that poverty is the single most powerful contributing factor in the rise in birth defects. In order to prevent birth defects, it is highly essential that pregnant women maintain a healthy diet full of vitamins and nutrients, not only for the mothers sake, but for …show more content…
When a pregnant woman does not consume adequate amounts of food, fetus growth slows dramatically and could permanently affect the baby for the worse ("How Does a Poor Diet Affect Fetal Development" 1). Lack of certain nutrients, such as protein, can be especially harmful to fetal brain development ("How Does a Poor Diet Affect Fetal Development" 1). During the first five weeks of pregnancy, the heart, brain, and lungs are developed. Nutritional deficiencies during this time period may cause permanent damage to the growth of fetal organs ("Under-Nutrition Before and During Pregnancy" 3). Babies born to mothers of poverty face unfortunate outcomes. Low-income mothers tend to birth babies at least one half of a pound less than babies of higher income. Malnourished mothers of poverty are also more likely to birth children that have a higher likeliness of developing Type Two Diabetes and various forms of heart disease ("Living on Less" 2) …show more content…
Nearly one point three million women do not receive proper prenatal care (Physicians Committee: "Birth Defect Statistics" 1). Women who experience unintended pregnancy often do not find out they are expecting until nearly a month after conception. The first five weeks are the most essential for a developing fetus ("Unintended Pregnancy in the United States" 2). Practicing proper prenatal care in these first few weeks could decrease the chances of birth defects dramatically. According to the Physicians Committee, “If all women began prenatal care in their first trimester, the number of low birth weight babies would be reduced by an estimated twelve thousand six hundred per year.”In addition, up to twenty-five percent of infant deaths due to birth defects could be prevented with prenatal care (Physicians Committee “Birth Defect Statistics” 2). If women of poverty were properly educated on pregnancy prevention and unintended pregnancy, many birth defects could be prevented by following a proper prenatal lifestyle. Unfortunately, many women of low-income are clueless on this matter. According to an article on Folic Acid and Pregnancy, “In a survey of women of childbearing age in the United States, only seven percent knew that folic acid should be taken before pregnancy to prevent birth defects” ("Folic Acid and Pregnancy" 2). It

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