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Birth Defects

Prevention of Birth Defects

It is not possible to prevent all birth defects. However, there are steps that mothers-to-be can take to increase their chances of having a healthy baby. They include:

  • Taking 400 mcg of folic acid every day, starting at least one month before getting pregnant.
  • Not smoking, drinking or using illicit drugs.
  • Talking to a health care provider about any prescriptions or over-the-counter medications the woman may be using, including dietary or herbal supplements.
  • Learning how to prevent infections during pregnancy.
  • Making sure medical conditions, such as diabetes and obesity, are under control before becoming pregnant. 

Locations for Birth Defects