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Birth Defects the Top Worry of Moms-to-Be

Stressful life, early delivery also rank as concerns in pregnancy, survey finds

MONDAY, Dec. 14, 2009 (HealthDay News) -- Birth defects, preterm birth, breast-feeding and eating sushi are a few of the many concerns of pregnant women, according to a new March of Dimes survey.

The poll of about 1,200 mothers found that the leading cause of worry was birth defects (78 percent), followed by concern that stress in their life might harm their baby's health (74 percent) and wondering whether their baby would be born too soon (71 percent).

About 70 percent said they thought about the pain of childbirth, 55 percent said they worried they wouldn't get to the hospital on time, 60 percent were concerned they wouldn't be able to breast-feed successfully, 59 percent wondered about their ability to lose weight after delivery and 59 percent also worried about getting pregnant in the first place. The leading food-related concern was sushi and fish (61 percent).

The findings were presented Dec. 9 at a meeting of the March of Dimes National Communications Advisory Council.

"Women should discuss all their questions with their doctors and should be concerned about their overall health -- quit smoking, control their blood pressure, weight and any chronic diseases, such as diabetes -- before they become pregnant so they will have a better chance at a healthy pregnancy," Dr. Diane Ashton, deputy medical director of the March of Dimes, said in a news release.

More information

The U.S. National Women's Health Information Center has more about having a healthy pregnancy.

SOURCE: March of Dimes, news release, Dec. 9, 2009
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