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2017 National Birth Defects Prevention Month

January 9, 2017

Each year the National Birth Defects Prevention Network comes up with a theme. The theme for 2017 is “Prevent to Protect: Prevent Infections For Baby’s Protection.” Not all birth defects can be prevented because some are hereditary or happen for no reason. When women are more knowledgeable of the things that can occur during pregnancy and how they can prevent infection, it reduces the chance of having a baby with a birth defect. 

Top Birth Defects In The U.S.

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) every 4.5 minutes a baby is born with a birth defect in the United States. This equates to 120,000 babies being affected by a birth defect each year. There are six major defects that babies are born with each year:

  • Genetic defects: Are caused by factors such as chromosomal abnormalities, single gene defects, multifactorial problems or teratogenic problems. The most common chromosomal abnormality is Down syndrome.
  • Mouth/facial defect: There are no single factor that causes these types of abnormalities. From what doctors understand these factors include combination of genes, environmental exposures and folic acid deficiency. The most common type of defects are cleft lip and/or cleft palate.
  • Heart defect: There are many causes such as the mother having a medical condition, changes in genes or chromosomes and conditions in your everyday life such as smoking and drinking alcohol. The most common heart defect in babies is congenital heart defect.
  • Stomach/intestinal defect: The cause of this birth defect is unknown. In recent years they have found that young mothers or smoking and drinking alcohol could be a factor to having a baby with this defect. Necrotizing Enterocolitis is the most common intestinal disease among preemies.
  • Eye defect: There are many eye defects at birth. They can be caused by: genetic disorders, infection, alcohol, drugs, and maternal diabetes.

How Women Can Prevent Birth Defects

There are many lists on what to do to prevent birth defects. Here are some of the tops suggestions we found:

  • Before and during pregnancy women should take 400(mcg) folic acid every day.
  • Avoid the use of alcohol and tobacco.
  • Eat a healthy balanced diet.
  • Get regular check-ups.
  • Be aware of chemicals in cleaning products and paints.
There are also many resources on the internet and in stores that tell you what to do and what not to do during pregnancy.

Want To Help?

Many children every year are born with defects that make them have regular doctors’ visits or even keep them in hospitals for an extended period of time. If you would like to help make a child’s day a little brighter born or diagnosed with life-threating medical defect or condition, you can donate your unused vehicle to Wheels For Wishes benefiting Make-A-Wish.  You can click on our chapter locator and see what charity we benefit near you. Once you found the charity you would like to donate to. All you have to do is call us at 1-855-278-9474 or fill out our online donation from.

Help brighten a child’s day today! 

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