Pikeville Medical Center (PMC) is observing National Birth Defects Prevention Month during January.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), National Birth Defects Prevention Month is a time to focus on raising awareness about the frequency with which birth defects occur and steps that can be taken to prevent them.
PMC Neonatologist Todd Hambleton, MD, said, “Knowing defects in advance helps pediatricians and neonatologists plan for the birth, giving your baby its best chance at a great start.”
The CDC states that every four and a half minutes about one in 33 babies are born with major birth defects in the United States and, although all birth defects cannot be prevented, there are things women can do to get ready for a healthy pregnancy:
Be fit – eat a healthy diet and work towards a healthy weight before pregnancy.
Be healthy – avoid alcohol, tobacco and illicit drugs. Be sure to consume at least 400 micrograms of folic acid every day before and during early pregnancy.
Be wise – visit a healthcare professional regularly.
“Keeping appropriate follow-up care with your OB/GYN is important so that defects are identified early enough for planning,” added Dr. Hambleton.
For more information or to schedule an OB/GYN physician appointment, call 606-218-2207.