The Arkansas Children’s Hospital Birth Defects Prevention team joined Gov. Asa Hutchinson as he signed a proclamation declaring January as National Birth Defects Month.

The team includes (left to right):  Veronica Smith, Theo Calloway, Dr. Wendy Nembhard, Ashley Block, Laura Rakes, Angie Brock and Lora Lawrence, with Gov. Asa Hutchinson (center).

Birth defects are common, costly, and critical. While many unknown factors play a role in birth defects occurrence, steps can be taken to help prevent or limit certain risks for birth defects, such as exposure to chemicals in the home or at work, use of alcohol and recreational drugs, a lack of folic acid in a woman’s diet, and lack of prenatal care.

The Arkansas Folic Acid Coalition joins the ACH Birth Defects Prevention team in promoting that women make a PACT for prevention.

Plan ahead
    Avoid harmful substances
   Choose a healthy lifestyle
    Talk to your healthcare provider

The 2016 NBDPN Birth Defects Prevention information packet, including Making Healthy Choices to Prevent Birth Defects:  Make a PACT for Prevention (as well as archives of past packets), is available online at: All materials can be printed, electronically conveyed, or added to websites for distribution as needed. Further information regarding NBDPN can be obtained at or on Facebook by searching “National Birth Defects Prevention Network.”