The National Birth Defects Prevention Network (NBDPN) Education and Outreach Committee is sharing with us the 2015 National Birth Defects Prevention Month packet.  This packet was developed in collaboration with many partners, including the Centers for Disease Control Prevention (CDC), American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), and Teratology Society (TS).

The theme for 2015 is “Making Healthy Choices to Prevent Birth Defects- Make a PACT for Prevention.”  Although not all birth defects can be prevented, steps can be taken to increase a woman’s chance of having a healthy baby.  Please encourage all pregnant women and those who may become pregnant 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 or 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 doctor

  • Get a medical checkup.
  • Discuss all medications, both prescription and over-the-counter.
  • Talk about family history.

More information about things you can do to ensure the healthiest possible pregnancy and reduce the risk of birth defects can be found at

NBDPN’s goal for 2015 is to continue to increase awareness that birth defects are “Common, Costly, and Critical” and to offer actionable steps that can be taken by professionals, community groups, and the public to prevent these defects.  To become a part of PACT just visit NBDPN and get involved in changing the lives of our future!