January is National Birth Defects Prevention Month and January 7-13 is Folic Acid Awareness Week

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The Lake Cumberland District Health Department is joining the  Kentucky Department for Public Health, the National Birth Defects Prevention Network and the March of Dimes to raise awareness of birth defects and to promote strategies that reduce the risk of birth defects and their complications. We hope that you will join us in promoting National Birth Defects Prevention Month!  This year’s theme is “Prevent to Protect: Prevent Infections for Baby’s Protection”. We know that not all birth defects can be prevented. However, we encourage all women to make healthy choices and adopt healthy habits to help lower their risk of having a baby born with a birth defect.  Please encourage all pregnant women and those who may become pregnant to follow the recommended guidelines to reduce their chance of developing an infection before or during their pregnancy.

The Kentucky Birth Surveillance Registry website has resources to assist you in learning more about and raising awareness of birth defects.

Folic Acid Awareness Week, January 7-13, is a perfect time to call additional attention to the importance of folic acid in preventing certain birth defects.  The United States Public Health Service recommends that all women of childbearing age consume 400 micrograms (400mcg or .4mg) of folic acid daily to prevent up to 50 – 70% of neural tube defects, such as spina bifida and anencephaly.  Learn more about Folic Acid Awareness Week here.