January is National Birth Defects Prevention Month
According to the Centers for Disease Control and the National Birth Defects Prevention Network, “Birth defects affect 1 in 33 babies each year and cause 1 in 5 infant deaths.” With proper prenatal care, some birth defects may be prevented.
Doctors recommend all women of childbearing age, whether they’re planning to get pregnant or not, should take 400 micrograms of folic acid daily. A combination of multivitamins and fortified cereals and grains can provide the recommended daily amount. Folic acid is a B vitamin that plays an important role in the production of red blood cells.
Once a woman becomes pregnant, folic acid will help the baby’s neural tube develop into the brain and spinal cord. Other steps women can take to help prevent birth defects:
- Have regular prenatal checkups
- Keep existing medical conditions under control
- Do not smoke cigarettes or use alcohol or other drugs
- Eat a balanced, nutritious diet
January is National Birth Defects Prevention Month. Part of this educational month is National Folic Awareness Week, January 5 through 11. Take this opportunity to educate yourself on the importance of folic acid and prenatal care in the prevention of birth defects. Please contact Capital Women’s Care Hagerstown http://cwchagerstown.com/contact/ with any questions you may have.