January is Birth Defects Prevention Month
Birth defects affect one in every 33 babies and are a leading cause of death in children under one year of age. The chance for birth defects, particularly neural tube defects, is increased when mother is overweight; plus women who are overweight and obese during pregnancy have a higher risk, for themselves and their infants, of additional adverse outcomes. Obesity is preventable and can be addressed prior to conception. Visit the National Birth Defects Prevention Network website for posters, fact sheets (English and Spanish), and other resources that you can use to educate women and families about a healthy lifestyle and about the prevention of birth defects. Visit the March of Dimes website for additional family materials.