• By Debbie Mason
  • Posted Tuesday, January 22, 2013

January is National Birth Defects Prevention Month

Not all birth defects are preventable and can occur early in pregnancy before a woman even knows she is pregnant. Women can increase their chances of having a healthy baby by taking the following steps before pregnancy (preconception health):

  • Take 400 micrograms (mcg) of folic acid every day
  • Avoid alcohol, tobacco, and “street” drugs
  • Talk to a health care provider about taking any medications
  • Prevent infections
  • Talk to your doctor about vaccinations (shots)
  • Manage diabetes
  • Reach and maintain a healthy weight
  • Get regular checkups from your health care provider

Click here for more information about preventing birth defects and preconception health.

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