Birth Defects Prevention Month
January is Birth Defects Prevention Month!
It is our pleasure to provide you with materials
for Birth Defects Prevention Month, which were developed by the
Education and Outreach Committee of the National Birth Defects Prevention
We have chosen preconceptional health as our
topic of focus for this year's packet. Both the importance of achieving
optimal health for women of childbearing age prior to conception,
and the role preconceptional health plays in the prevention of birth
defects, cannot be overemphasized.
Achieving preconceptional health encompasses
such areas as: consuming 400 micrograms of folic acid daily; knowing
one's family history; having a check-up from a health care provider
prior to conception; seeking reproductive genetic counseling,
if appropriate; managing chronic maternal illnesses such as diabetes,
seizure disorders, lupus or phenylketonuria (PKU); avoiding alcohol,
nicotine, and illicit drugs; ensuring that prescription medication
and herbal supplements are safe at the time of conception and during
early pregnancy; and avoiding harmful occupational and environmental
exposures. In addition, avoiding infections and ensuring protection
against domestic violence are also important elements of preconceptional
We hope these materials will be useful to you
in promoting awareness of Birth Defects Prevention Month. We would
like to know if these materials are of value and how you use them.
Please complete the evaluation
form. We are especially interested in any innovative activities
you undertake, that can be replicated by others, in working for
the primary prevention of birth defects. Materials developed by
the Education Committee are available electronically and can be
tailored to your specific agency's mission, needs and capacity.
Please contact us if we can be of assistance in this regard. Materials
from the other organizations can be obtained directly from them.
If you should have questions about the materials,
please contact Amy Nance
or Cara Mai. We hope you find
the information and materials useful in promoting your own campaigns
for Birth Defects Prevention Month, January 2006.
Marcia Feldkamp, President, NBDPN
Jane Simmermon, Education Committee Co-Chair, NBDPN
Amy Nance, Education Committee Co-Chair, NBDPN