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Birth Defect Prevention: Best for You. Best for Baby.

Birth Defect Prevention: Best for You. Best for Baby.

Women spend a lot of time worrying about what to eat, drink, and do (or not do) while pregnant. Even if you aren’t worried, everyone else is. You’ll hear all sorts of (mostly unwanted) advice and opinions as soon as you’re showing such as, “Oh you shouldn’t eat that.”
January is Birth Defects Prevention Month. The theme for 2019 is “Best for You. Best for Baby.” Ignore the unwanted opinions — let’s talk about what really causes birth defects and what you can do to have a healthy baby.

What Causes Birth Defects

A birth defect is a structural change present at birth that may affect how the body looks or works or both. Birth defects can affect almost any part of the body, from the brain to the feet. According to the Centers for Disease Control, a baby is born with a birth defect every 4 ½ minutes — meaning 120,000 babies are affected by birth defects each year. Most importantly, birth defects are the leading cause of infant deaths.
Most defects occur within the first three months of pregnancy, but some form in later stages. Some defects are genetic, such as club feet, while others can be prevented by avoiding harmful substances. Moms older than age 34 are more likely to have a child with a birth defect.
The most common birth defects are:

What You Can Do

Get more information about each of these tips. As soon as you become pregnant, make an appointment with your doctor. If you are trying to become pregnant, feel free to ask us any questions.

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