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January is National Birth Defect Prevention Month

Not all birth defects can be prevented. But, there are things that a woman can do before and during pregnancy to increase her chance of having a healthy baby:

  • Take 400 mcg of folic acid every day, starting at least one month before getting pregnant.
  • Don't drink alcohol, smoke, or use "street" drugs.
  • Talk to a health care provider about taking any medications, including prescription and over-the-counter medications and dietary or herbal supplements. Also talk to a doctor before stopping any medications that are needed to treat health conditions.
  • Learn how to prevent infections during pregnancy.
  • If possible, be sure any medical conditions are under control, before becoming pregnant. Some conditions that increase the risk for birth defects include diabetes and obesity.
  • Reach and maintain a healthy weight.
  • See a health care professional regularly.

If you are pregnant or planning to get pregnant, see your healthcare provider. Prenatal care, which is health care received during pregnancy, can help find some problems early in pregnancy so that they can be monitored or treated before birth.

For more information click here.

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