January is National Birth Defects Prevention Month
A Michigan Department of Health and Human Services program is working to improve the health of mothers and babies during National Birth Defects Prevention Month in January.
The MDHHS Birth Defects Education and Outreach Program is joining the National Birth Defects Prevention Network to raise awareness of birth defects and promote strategies improving the health of mothers and babies.
This year’s theme is “Best for You. Best for Baby.” All birth defects can't be prevented. However, we encourage all women to make healthy choices and adopt healthy habits to help lower their risk of having a baby born with a birth defect. Please encourage all pregnant women and those who may become pregnant to follow the recommended basic health guidelines throughout their reproductive years:
Be sure to take 400 micrograms (mcg) of folic acid every day.
Book a visit with your healthcare provider before stopping or starting any medication.
Become up-to-date with all vaccines, including the flu shot.
Before you get pregnant, try to reach a healthy weight.
Boost your health by avoiding harmful substances during pregnancy, such as alcohol, tobacco, marijuana, and other drugs.
January is a perfect time to highlight the importance of folic acid in preventing certain birth defects. The United States Public Health Service recommends that all women of childbearing age consume 400 micrograms (400mcg or .4mg) of folic acid daily. This single step may prevent up to 50 - 70% of neural tube defects, such as spina bifida and anencephaly.
You can make a difference in the lives of Michigan families! Find and share additional resources from the MDHHS Birth Defects Education and Outreach Program and Michigan Genetics Resource Center websites.