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January is Birth Defect Prevention Month

Posted Jan 05 2012 6:00am
When we think of birth defects, many of us think of the March of Dimes and this organization’s efforts to educate would-be moms about how to give birth to healthy babies. Of the over four million babies born each year in the U.S., about 120,000 of them (1 in 33) have a birth defect, defined as the result of a problem with normal fetal development. According to the CDC, the most common birth defects are congenital heart defects, cleft lip or palate, Downs syndrome, and neural tube defects. While not all birth defects are preventable, there are plenty of things a mom-to-be can do to lower her baby’s risk for them. The good news is that many of the same steps to prevent premature birth are the same practices that lower the risk for birth defects. Alcohol, tobacco, street drugs, and some prescription drugs, OTC drugs and even dietary supplements can ...
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