It's National Birth Defects Prevention Month
January is National Birth Defects Prevention Month, and we're here with some important tips and resources that will help expecting mothers have a healthy pregnancy and reduce the risk of birth defects.
First, a healthy pregnancy begins long before a woman is actually pregnant. Visiting with a doctor to ensure your health prior to pregnancy is referred to as preconception care. During a preconception care visit, you and your doctor will discuss your family medical history, current health concerns, and pre-existing conditions. The the doctor will also identify conditions that could affect your pregnancy, and suggest treatment.
Proper folic acid intake is another key factor in a healthy pregnancy. Most doctors will recommend taking 0.4 mg of folic acid daily. Folic acid has the ability to prevent some birth defects.
Making healthy choices is a crucial step in preventing birth defects as well. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends making healthy choices when it comes to nutrition, weight and exercise, in addition to reducing stress, avoiding smoking, alcohol, fish high in mercury and risky recreational/occupation exposures.
For a more in-depth look at birth defect prevention, visit these resource sites: