National Birth Defects and Prevention


national birth defects monthNational Birth Defect and Prevention Month is an annual tradition in January. As statistically reported, every 5th minute a child with a disability is born in the USA. The main motive of this campaign is to encourage women towards a healthier pregnancy and how they can play a vital part in preventing defects in their unborn babies.

A major reason for birth defects is that expecting mothers remain unaware of certain infections spreading inside their womb. Through appropriate prenatal care, mothers can avoid most birth defects in their babies.

Prevent To Protect

The Birth Defect and Prevention Month is based on the theme “Prevent to Protect”. Several conferences and workshops are held across the country by the National Birth Defects Prevention Network (NBDP Network). The Network, in addition to conducting sessions, also uploads related material on their website to make it more convenient for people to know about the causes of birth defects.

Under the ‘Prevent to Protect’ theme, women are taught about several infections that can cause birth defects and how they can be avoided by adopting the simplest measures. Such as:

• Taking care of personal hygiene,
• On time vaccinations,
• Regular check-ups
• Safe sex
• Protecting themselves from insects and animal bites during pregnancy

The NBDP Network has been using popular social media platforms to ensure a widespread reach for maximum awareness. Uniform hashtag #Prevent2Protect is being used by women across the world for sharing their experiences, motivations and family moments. They also guide future mothers on how they can shield their children from certain defects or deal with babies having special needs.

Folic Acid Awareness Week

As a part of the national birth defect and prevention month, the second week that is the 7th to the 13th of January is known as Folic Acid Awareness Week. Folic acid or Vitamin-B9 is important for cell growth. Mothers should take proper dose of this vitamin during pregnancy, as folic acid can prevent around 60% of serious neural tube birth defects that affect the baby’s brain and spine.

The US Public Health Service recommends women to take 400 mcg of folic acid every day to prevent folic acid deficiency, which is one of the most common causes of birth defects. According to research, Hispanic children are the most vulnerable to neural tube defects in the US, which is due to insufficient folic acid consumption by Hispanic women. Several health organizations are working to increase awareness in the minority communities about the importance of folic acid.

With increasing environmental pollution and numerous health hazards being discovered each day, it is necessary to spread childbirth education among parents to ensure that they play their part in ensuring their baby’s health.

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