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National Birth Defects Prevention Month

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“Birth defects are common, costly and critical.”

Every 4 ½ minutes, in the United States, a baby is born with a major birth defect. In fact, they are a leading cause of death among infants. Additionally, babies born with birth defects have a great chance of illness and long term disability.

January is National Birth Defects Prevention Month; it aims at promoting birth defects awareness and prevention by educating women. Below are some healthy guidelines pregnant women, or women trying to conceive should try to follow.

Eat a healthy diet. Be fit. Work toward a healthy weight before pregnancy.

Be healthy. That means no tobacco, alcohol and includes over-the-counter medications as well as prescription medications, such as Paxil that has been linked to birth defects. If you are pregnant or trying, be sure to discuss your options with your doctor before you go on or off any medications.

Visit a medical doctor regularly and as needed.

Consume 400 (mcg) of folic acid daily before and during pregnancy. If a woman has enough folic acid in her body at least 1 month before and during pregnancy, it can help prevent major birth defects.

The National Birth Defects Prevention Network has a plethora of information on preventing birth defects, common birth defects, achieving a healthy pregnancy, as well as statistics. The CDC Website also has more helpful information about birth defects.

If your child was born with a birth defect and it’s linked to medication use, you should consult an experienced attorney to help you navigate the situation.