What Steps Can Women Take to Prevent Birth Defects?
The theme for 2018 is “Prevent to Protect: Prevent Infections for Baby’s Protection.” We know that not all birth defects can be prevented. But, we also know that women can increase their chances of having a healthy baby by reducing their risk of getting an infection during pregnancy.
Plan ahead, Avoid harmful substances, Choose a healthy lifestyle, and Talk to your doctor.
Many birth defects happen very early in pregnancy, sometimes before a woman even knows she is pregnant. Remember that about half of all pregnancies are unplanned. Here are some steps a woman can take to get ready for a healthy pregnancy:
- Take prenatal vitamins every day
- Avoid alcohol, tobacco, and street drugs
- Keeps hands clean by washing them often with soap and water to prevent infections
- See a health care professional regularly
- Talk with the health care professional about any medical problems and medicine use (both prescription and over-the-counter)
- Ask about avoiding any substances at work or at home that might be harmful to a developing baby.
- Eat a healthy, balanced diet
- Avoid unpasteurized (raw) milk and foods made from it
- Avoid eating raw or undercooked meat
For more information visit: www.nbdpn.org/national_birth_defects-prevent.php