Birth Defects Prevention Month: A Healthy Pregnancy

Early and regular prenatal care is key to helping prevent birth defects.

Early and regular prenatal care is key to helping prevent birth defects.

About 120,000 babies in the U.S. are born each year with a birth defect. The most common include heart defects, cleft lip and cleft palate, Down syndrome and spina bifida.

Many birth defects develop early during pregnancy, sometimes before a woman even knows she is pregnant, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. However, there are precautions expectant mothers can take to increase the chances of having healthy babies.

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At a Glance

baby
  • Take folic acid daily
  • Avoid drugs and alcohol
  • Talk to a health care provider about medications
  • Stay up to date on vaccinations, including the flu shot
  • Control diabetes
  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Get early and regular prenatal care

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