Preventing Birth Defects
Published on: Mar 4, 2016
Transcripts - Preventing Birth Defects
What is the Good News? Want to Know More?
The good news is that researchers are ﬁnding ways Ask your health care provider or local health
to prevent and treat some birth defects. Newborn department about planning for a healthy baby.
screening, special care after birth, and new medical
treatments can help babies with birth defects live March of Dimes Pregnancy & Newborn
longer and healthier lives. Genetic counseling can Health Education Center
provide parents with information about risks based Visit: www.modimes.com
on family history, age, ethnic or racial background, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
and other factors.
Michigan Birth Defects Registry
The Michigan Department of Community Health Prevention & Follow-up Program Important
(MDCH) monitors birth defects that occur in Call: 1-866-852-1247 (toll-free)
the state. The Birth Defects Registry Follow-up Visit: www.migeneticsconnection.org
Program can tell you about services for children E-mail: BDRFollowup@michigan.gov
with birth defects that may help you or someone
you know. Centers for Disease Control Information
& Prevention (CDC)
Call: 1-888-232-5929 (toll-free)
Organization of Teratology
Information Services Birth
Call: 1-866-626-OTIS (toll-free)
Visit: www.otispregnancy.org Defects
For information on infection, drug, and other
exposures during pregnancy
Michigan Steps Up For
For healthy lifestyle suggestions
MDCH is an Equal Opportunity Employer, Services and
Programs Provider. 55,000 printed at .04 cents each
with a total cost of $2,402.27
This publication was supported in part by Cooperative Agreement
Number U50/CCU516053 from the Centers for Disease Control and
What is a Birth Defect? What Steps Can a Woman Take for a Healthier Baby?
A birth defect is an abnormal condition that occurs
before or at the time of birth. Birth defects can • Take a vitamin pill with 400 micrograms (400 • Practice safer sex by using condoms to protect
cause physical and mental problems that need mcg or 0.4 mg) of folic acid, a B vitamin, every against sexually transmitted diseases (STD).
special medical care or therapy. Some conditions, day. It helps to prevent some kinds of birth • Find out if needed medicines (both over-
like Down syndrome and sickle cell anemia, are defects. the-counter and prescription) are safe during
caused by genetic factors. Other birth defects can pregnancy.
be caused by certain drugs, chemicals, infections
• Avoid harmful household substances such
or chronic illness in the mother. The causes of
as insecticides, lead, mercury, and strong
many birth defects are still a mystery. Birth defects
chemicals. Find out if there are any substances
can happen in any family. About 10,000 Michigan
to avoid at work that might be harmful to an
babies are born with some type of birth defect each
• Know her own (and partner’s) medical and
family history, including any birth defects,
genetic disorders or developmental disabilities.
• Talk to her doctor or health care provider
• Live smoke-, alcohol- and drug-free. - The use of supplements, vitamins or herbal
• Have regular medical and dental check-ups. remedies/health products.
• Get to a healthy weight before pregnancy and - Immunizations (booster shots) to protect
stay physically active. against infections like Rubella (German
• Avoid using hot tubs and saunas when pregnant measles) that can harm an unborn baby.
or planning pregnancy. - Health problems like diabetes, seizures,
• Eat a variety of foods with plenty of grain PKU or other chronic conditions and
products, vegetables and fruits. planning for pregnancy. Then choose a
health care team and hospital that have
• Eat only fully cooked meat, and when eating experience with high-risk pregnancies.
Great Lakes ﬁsh, follow the guidelines in the
Michigan Fish Advisory. Call: 1-800-648-6942 • Get prenatal care early in pregnancy, and keep
for a free copy or search under “ﬁsh advisory” every appointment!
• Wash hands often to reduce the spread of
Did You Know? infection – especially when caring for young
Even though not all birth defects can be prevented, children.
there are steps every woman can take to increase
• Have others handle soiled cat litter – It may
the chance of having a healthy baby. Many
spread toxoplasmosis, an infection that can
birth defects happen very early in pregnancy and
harm unborn babies.
many pregnancies (about half) are not planned.
Therefore, every Michigan woman of childbearing • Avoid mice, rats, hamsters and guinea pigs.
age needs to think ahead and follow the tips listed They may spread a virus harmful to unborn
here for a healthier baby. babies.