National Birth Defects Prevention Month

Each year, NBDPN's Education and Outreach Committee chooses a theme and develops materials and resources to assist state program staff and others interested in promoting National Birth Defects Prevention Month. Click on an anchor below to jump to the materials for that theme:


Prevent to Protect

January is Birth Defects Prevention Month. The theme for 2017 is “Prevent to Protect: Prevent Infections for Baby’s Protection.” We know that not all birth defects can be prevented. But, we also know that women can increase their chances of having a healthy baby by reducing their risk of getting an infection during pregnancy.      

Download the entire 2017 "Prevent to Protect" packetPDF           


  • 2017 "Prevent to Protect" theme resources PDF 
  • Sample proclamation MS Word  |  PDF
  • Sample news releases MS Word  |  PDF                                                       
  • Sample newsletter articles MS Word  |  PDF
  • Sample letters MS Word  PDF
  • Fact sheet for policy makers MS Word  |  PDF
  • Educational resources for Men MS Word  PDF
  • Materials for local Public Health departments MS Word  |  PDF
Social Media Resources: Partner Resources: Additional Resources:


Make a Pact for Prevention   

Download the entire 2016 PACT packet (PDFPDFPDF)

"Making Healthy Choices to Prevent Birth Defects - Make a PACT for Prevention." We know that not all birth defects can be prevented. But, we also know that women can increase their chances of having a healthy baby by managing health conditions and adopting healthy behaviors before and during pregnancy. Please encourage all pregnant women and those who may become pregnant to make a PACT to:
  • Plan ahead
    • Get as healthy as possible before becoming pregnant. 
    • Get 400 micrograms (mcg) of folic acid every day.
  • Avoid harmful substances
    • Avoid drinking alcohol and smoking.                                                                              
    • Be careful with harmful exposures at work and home.
  • Choose a healthy lifestyle
    • Eat a healthy diet that includes fruits, vegetables, whole grains, low-fat dairy, and lean proteins.
    • Be physically active.
    • Work to get medical conditions like diabetes under control.
  • Talk to your healthcare provider
    • Get a medical checkup.
    • Discuss all medications, both prescription and over-the-counter.
    • Talk about your family medical history.

Common, Costly, Critical

Common, Costly, Critical packet (PDF)

Birth defects are common, costly, and critical. Birth defects affect 1 in every 33 babies born in the United States and are a leading cause of infant mortality. Babies who survive and live with birth defects are at increased risk for developing many lifelong physical, cognitive, and social challenges. Medical care and support services only scrape the surface of the financial and emotional impact of living with birth defects.