As we wrap up 2011 and get ready for 2012, it’s time to focus on new beginnings. Some people will set goals and resolutions for the New Year, while others will choose to move away from home for a fresh start. And many couples will think about introducing a new life into this world, perhaps the ultimate symbol of renewal and revival.
If you or someone you love is thinking about having a baby this year, it’s important to be educated about how to prevent birth defects. January has appropriately been dubbed National Birth Defects Prevention Month, and it is a time to shine the spotlight on birth defects awareness and prevention.
You may not realize how common birth defects really are. According to the National Birth Defects Prevention Network (NBDPN), one in every 33 babies is affected by a birth defect, and one in five infant deaths can be attributed to a birth defect. And often times, there is no family history of the defect or condition.
Most importantly, many birth defects can be prevented, which is why awareness is imperative. The NBDPN reports that to prevent potential birth defects women should “take folic acid; have regular medical checkups; make sure medical conditions, such as diabetes, are under control; have tests for infectious diseases and get necessary vaccinations; and not use cigarettes, alcohol or other drugs.” Women who take these steps will more likely give birth to happy, healthy babies.
The national observance is supported by the NBDPN, which offers many educational materials on its Web site. You’ll find pamphlets, posters, packets, and even sample news releases to help spread the word about birth defects prevention. Most resources are available in both English and Spanish, so you can more easily get the word out there.
Take the awareness initiative a step further by distributing birth defect awareness promotional products. The items are super-effective in conjunction with educational materials. They’ll live on in the homes and lives of recipients, serving as lasting reminders about preventative behavior.