January is National Birth Defects Prevention Month
Birth defects are common, costly, and critical. Every 4½ minutes, a baby is born with a major birth defect in the United States. Become an active participant in National Birth Defects Prevention Month by joining the nationwide effort to raise awareness of birth defects, their causes and their impact.
We know that not all birth defects can be prevented. However, we encourage all women to make healthy choices and adopt healthy habits to help lower their risk of having a baby born with a birth defect. This year we are encouraging all women to make a PACT for their own health and the family they may have one day. Plan ahead
– Get as healthy as you can before you get pregnant.
– Get 400 micrograms (mcg) of folic acid every day. Avoid harmful substances
– Avoid drinking alcohol and smoking.
– Be careful with harmful exposures at work and home. Choose a healthy lifestyle
– Eat a healthy diet that includes fruits, vegetables, whole grains, low-fat dairy, lean proteins, and
healthy fats and oils.
– Be physically active.
– Work to get medical conditions like diabetes under control. Talk to your healthcare provider
– Get a medical checkup.
– Discuss all medications, both prescription and over-the-counter.
– Talk about your family medical history.
Women and their loved ones can participate in a PACT and take these important steps toward a healthy
pregnancy. Share your own tips for healthy pregnancy using #LivingMyPACT on social media.
The National Birth Defects Prevention Network, in collaboration with many state and local organizations,
are working together to raise awareness of birth defects and encourage women to make a PACT for
prevention. Learn more about the effect you can have on birth defects at National Birth Defects Prevention Network. Disclaimer: The contents of this article, including text and images, are for informational purposes only and do not constitute a medical service. Always seek the advice of a physician or other qualified health professional for medical advice, diagnosis, and treatment.