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Birth Defects
Birth defects affect about one in every 33 babies born in the United States each year. They are the leading cause of infant deaths, accounting for more than 20% of all infant deaths. Babies born with birth defects have a greater chance of illness and long term disability than babies without birth defects.

In early 1998, Congress passed the Birth Defects Prevention Act of 1998, which became Public Law 105-168. This bill authorized CDC to (1) collect, analyze, and make available data on birth defects; (2) operate regional centers for applied epidemiologic research on the prevention of birth defects; and (3) inform and educate the public about the prevention of birth defects.

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Featured Items
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Pregnant, Don't Drink Alcohol
When a pregnant woman drinks alcohol, so does her unborn baby....more

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Preventing Infections During Pregnancy
Simple steps can help keep your unborn baby safe...more

Pregnancy and Smoking
Pregnant? Don't Smoke: Learn Why and How to Quit for Good
Quitting smoking can be hard, but it is one of the best ways a woman can protect herself and her baby's health.....more

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Medications and Pregnancy
Many pregnant women or mothers who are breastfeeding worry about whether to take medications....more
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Understanding genetic factors and genetic disorders is important in learning more about preventing birth defects and other conditions in children....more
House Mouse produced for CDC by Orkin Pest Control
Lymphocytic Choriomeningitis Virus (LCMV) and Pregnancy: Facts and Prevention
A pregnant woman who becomes infected with LCMV can pass the infection to her unborn baby....more
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Basic facts about birth defects
What is a birth defect? Which are most common? Learn answers to these and other frequently asked questions...more
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Fetal Alcohol Syndrome
Fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS) is a condition that affects facial features, growth retardation, and central nervous system problems. It can occur if a woman drinks alcohol during pregnancy....more
Quick Links
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bullet National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities
Programs & Campaigns
Pregnancy-planning Education Program
Learn what you need to know now to have a safe pregnancy and healthy baby.
Science Ambassador Program
An opportunity for science teachers to learn about a variety of different topics, including folic acid, birth defects, genetics, fetal alcohol syndome ...
Excite Educational Curriculum Model
EXCITE (EXcellence in Curriculum Integration though Teaching Epidemiology) is a teaching tool developed by CDC for middle and high school teachers and students.
Kids' Quest
Join KQ in the quest to learn more about disabilities and health. The Kids' Quest is designed for students in 4th, 5th, and 6th grades.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities
Division of Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities:
Mail-Stop E-86
1600 Clifton Road
Atlanta, GA 30333
Or Email Us: NCBDDD Contact Form

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