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Environmental toxins could pose risk to pregnant women

Residents of the state of Ohio likely have many lifetime goals. For some of those individuals that includes having, and raising, children. While the birth of a child is a major change for parents, pregnant women face changes months before the baby arrives.

When a woman becomes pregnant there are many ways in which her life changes. In addition to a stomach that expands as the baby grows and feeling tired much of the time, there are certain behaviors that come to an end. For example, most women stop smoking and consuming alcohol. They also usually avoid the consumption of certain foods and exposure to substances such as solvents or heavy metals that could pose a risk to the unborn baby.

In most cases these changes are made on the advice of her physician. The reason pregnant women are advised to avoid certain activities and foods is that consumption or exposure could result in birth defects. A recent survey indicates that there are other things the medical providers may not be warning their pregnant patients about.

Specifically, there are some who believe that pregnant women should be warned about certain chemicals that may be found in plastics, air pollutants and pesticides. The reason that some do not provides warnings about environmental hazards is that the impact of small amounts on an unborn child is not entirely clear. Some are concerned that warnings will unnecessarily worry their patients and shift focus away from more serious issues that the pregnant woman needs to address.

While the failure to warn about possible environmental hazards in a pregnancy may not constitute medical malpractice, there are other omissions that should they result in birth defects, might. Parents facing the issue might consider filing a medical malpractice lawsuit against the health care providers involved.

Source: NPR.com, "Few Doctors Warn Expectant Mothers About Environmental Toxics," Kara Manke, June 25, 2014 

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