Along with other resolutions to start the year, you may be like millions of Americans if becoming more health-conscious appears on your list. Any Baby Can is here to help, especially if you are a new or expecting parent.
January is National Birth Defects Prevention Month, a time to promote awareness and preventative practices to help ensure children are born healthy and happy. Here are five facts you may not know about birth defects from our friends at the National Birth Defects Prevention Network:
1. They’re surprisingly common. Each year in the United States, one in 33 babies is born with a special healthcare need, often with no prior existing family history of the condition.
2. Women who may become pregnant should take folic acid. Folic acid helps a baby’s brain and spine develop very early in pregnancy (some of this takes place before many women even know they are pregnant!), and many diets are low in the nutrient. Taking a supplement prior and throughout pregnancy can help your baby’s development.
3. Not all healthcare needs are identified immediately. Many special healthcare needs are diagnosed after a newborn infant leaves the hospital because they are not easy to see.
4. Some can be diagnosed in utero. Prenatal care and screenings are so important because they can help make early diagnoses through ultrasounds, allowing families to prepare for the future.
5. Some can be prevented. Mothers-to-be can take important prenatal steps that may help prevent birth defects. Avoiding cigarettes, alcohol and other drugs, as well as being tested for infectious diseases and receiving proper vaccinations can go a long way in protecting an unborn child.
If you are a new or expecting parent seeking additional advice and resources, we can help. Give us a call at 512.454.3743.