January is Birth Defects Prevention Awareness Month.
Birth defects are health conditions that are present when a child is born. They change the shape or function of one or more parts of the body, which can cause problems in overall health, how the body develops or how the body works. Birth defects affect about one in 33 newborns in the United States. Not all birth defects can be prevented, but there are steps women can take to increase the chance of having a healthy baby. The CDC encourages all pregnant women, as well as those who may become pregnant, to “Make a PACT for Prevention: Plan ahead, Avoid harmful substances, Choose a healthy lifestyle, and Talk to your doctor.” Click here to learn more about prevention, and here to learn more about birth defects and related health conditions.