One out of every 33 babies in the United States is born with a birth defect, but many of these birth defects can be prevented. If you are pregnant or think you may become pregnant in the future, here are some tips to help you have a healthier pregnancy and baby:
- Take a multivitamin with folic acid (400 mg) every day before and during pregnancy.
- See a nurse practitioner at the Health Department or Teen Matters clinic as soon as you think you might be pregnant.
- Make sure your vaccinations are up to date.
- Eat well, and stay active.
- Avoid alcohol, smoking and other drug use.
- Avoid certain medications.
- Prevent infections from food and other sources.
Both genetic and environmental factors can cause birth defects, and every 4 and a half minutes, a baby is born with a birth defect. Visit our Family Planning program if you are planning to become pregnant or think you may be pregnant, and our nurses can talk with you more about ways to prevent birth defects.