Ways you can prevent birth defects (It’s National Birth Defects Prevention Month)

January is National Birth Defects Prevention Month and chances are, you know someone whose life has been affected by birth defects.

Sadly, birth defects are common. According to the Centers for Disease Control, 1 in 33 babies are born each year with a birth defect. They are also the leading cause of infant death.

The good news is, some birth defects are preventable.

Here are some tips to prevent birth defects. Read on:

Educate yourself

Being aware and educated, before getting pregnant, is one of the best ways to prevent birth defects. By learning about how to prevent birth defects, you can help have a safe, healthy pregnancy and birth.

Get healthy

This seems easy, but can be challenging. Before getting pregnant, work on improving your health. Eat a balanced diet and take 400 mcg of folic acid daily. Avoid drugs, alcohol and cigarettes. And make sure you don’t have a sexually transmitted disease by getting an annual exam.

Get screened

If you or your partner have birth defects in your family, getting genetic counseling or testing can be beneficial. Talk to your doctor for more details.

Everything Birth

We can all work together to prevent birth defects. Need more information? Check out these resources from the CDC and the March of Dimes.