“Birth defects affect 1 in every 33 babies born in the United States each year,” as stated by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Birth defects are serious medical conditions that are changes to the structure of one or more parts of the body.
OakBend Medical Center is spreading awareness this January because it is the start of National Birth Defects Prevention Month! This is a very important topic because it focuses on the future health of our children. By taking initiative and researching this topic, you are taking the first step to improving the chances of having a healthy newborn.
-Every 4½ minutes, a baby is born with a birth defect in the United States. That translates into nearly 120,000 babies affected by birth defects each year.
-The yearly hospital costs for birth defects exceed 2.6 billion dollars.
–1 in every 5 infant deaths occurs due to birth defects.
What is the good news? By planning ahead, avoiding harmful substances, choosing a healthy lifestyle, and talking to your doctor, you can protect your baby’s health to the best of your ability.
Make the PACT for prevention! Use these four steps:
1. Plan ahead
-Before you become pregnant, get healthy!
-400 micrograms of folic acid everyday should be consumed!
2. Avoid harmful substances
-Don’t smoke or consume alcohol.
-Use caution around harmful exposures at home and work.
3. Choose a healthy lifestyle
-A healthy diet needs to be a priority that includes vegetables, fruits, whole grains, low-fat dairy, and lean proteins.
-Stay physically active!
-Get other medical conditions under control (such as diabetes).
4. Talk to your doctor
-Go in for a medical checkup.
-Discuss medications, both prescription and over-the-counter with your doctor.
-Sit down with you family and discuss your history!
Keep in mind: Women’s Services at OakBend Medical Center is here to guide you through a healthy pregnancy. Delivering approximately 1,200 babies each year, OakBend is staffed with experienced and caring professionals. To learn more about the Women’s Services at OakBend Medical Center, visit http://www.oakbendmedcenter.org/womens-services