Birth Defects Prevention Month 2007


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 Network (NBDPN).

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 health.

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.

Carol Stanton , President, NBDPN
Amy Nance, Education Committee Co-Chair, NBDPN
Mary Knapp, Education Committee Co-Chair, NBDPN

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