January is Birth Defects Prevention Month

Birth Defects are common, costly and critical. Every 4 ½ minutes a baby is born with a major birth defect. In Arkansas, approximately 1 in every 25 births results in a birth defect.

Become an active participant in Birth Defects Prevention Month and join the nationwide effort to raise awareness of birth defects, their causes and their impact.

Not all birth defects can be prevented; however, all women, including teens, can lower their risk of having a baby born with a birth defect by following some basic health guidelines throughout their reproductive years. This year we are encouraging all women to make a PACT for prevention.

Plan ahead

Avoid harmful substances

Choose a healthy lifestyle

Talk to your doctor

Women and the people who love them can participate in their PACT and take these important preventive steps that can lead to a reduction in the number of birth defects. Learn more about the effect you can have on birth defects at www.nbdpn.org/bdpm2015.php. Visit the AR Center for Birth Defects and Prevention website at http://www.arpediatrics.org/research/birth-defects-research-a-prevention and http://arbirthdefectsresearch.uams.edu.