Tips For Preventing Birth
Although the cause of over 60% of birth defects are not known, there are things that you can do as a mother
concerned about the well being of your developing baby.
Awareness and education are the first steps to preventing birth defects. The immediate step following awareness
and education is taking action. There are a number of things you can do to increase the probability of having a
healthy pregnancy and a healthy baby. Some are more challenging than others because they require that you break
habits, but it is worth your effort.
Here are a variety of tips you can use to prevent birth defects as you contemplate starting or adding to your
- Tip 1. The first and foremost tip is maintaining preconception health; eating well
balanced and nutritional meals, and taking a multivitamin daily that includes the recommended 400 mcg of folic
- Tip 2. If you are sexually active and pregnancy is a possibility, make sure you take a
multivitamin daily which includes the recommended 400 mcg of folic acid and other essential B vitamins.
- Tip 3. Avoid all activities that could potentially lead to birth defects including
alcohol, tobacco, illicit drugs, and caffeine.
- Tip 4. Seek an annual gynecological and wellness exam.
- Tip 5. Obtain genetic counseling and birth defect screening, particularly if you have any
family history of birth defects or if you are 35 years of age or older.
- Tip 6. Help your family or friends who might be considering parenthood by informing them
that January is Birth Defects Prevention Month. You can send an e-mail and link to this page to everyone in
your address book.
One email to your family and friends may have a domino effect in creating awareness of birth defect prevention
options. It is free and could easily prompt someone considering parenthood to have a wellness exam or seek genetic