Wednesday, January 14, 2015

January is National Birth Defects Prevention Month

The theme for 2015 is “Making Health Choices to Prevention Birth Defects – Make a PACT for Prevention.”  Although not all birth defects can be prevented, steps can be taken to increase a woman’s chance of having a healthy baby.  Encourage all pregnant women and those who may become pregnant to:

Plan ahead
o   Get as healthy as possible before becoming pregnant.
o   Get 400 micrograms (mcg) of folic acid every day.
Avoid harmful substance
o   Avoid drinking alcohol and smoking.
o   Be careful with harmful exposures at work and home.
Choose a healthy lifestyle
o   Eat a healthy diet that includes fruits, vegetables, whole grains, low fat dairy, lean proteins, and healthy fats and oils.
o   Be physically active.
o   Work to get medical conditions like diabetes under control.
Talk to your doctor
o   Get a medical checkup.
o   Discuss all medications, both prescription and over-the-counter.
o   Talk about family history.

You can make a difference in the lives of Utah families.  Review the materials at this link and share them with coworkers, colleagues, staff, and others who might benefit.

If you have questions or would like additional materials, please contact the Utah Birth Defect Network, Utah Department of Health at 801-883-4661 or by email to Amy Nance at

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