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National Health Observances Toolkit

National Health Observances Toolkit - January

National Birth Defects Prevention Month

Sponsor: The National Birth Defects Prevention Network External Link

Prevent Birth DefectsNational Birth Defects Prevention Month is a time to raise awareness of birth defects and promote healthy pregnancies.

A birth defect is a problem that happens while a baby is developing in the mother’s body. One out of every 33 babies in the United States is born with a birth defect.

Many birth defects can be prevented. If you are pregnant or planning to get pregnant, these tips can help you have a healthy pregnancy and a healthy baby:

  • Take a multivitamin with folic acid every day before and during pregnancy.
  • See your doctor or midwife regularly as soon as you think you're pregnant and throughout your pregnancy.
  • Make sure your vaccinations are up to date.
  • Eat well and stay active.
  • Avoid alcohol, smoking, and other drug use.
  • Prevent infections from food and other sources.

Sample Announcement  |  Sample Tweets  |  E-cards  |  Web Badges  |  Get Involved  |  Related Tools on  |  Resources

Get the Word Out

Announcment Sample Media and/or Newsletter or Listserv Announcement

Prevention and wellness resources and tools for your pregnancy:
External Link

Ask your doctor if you should be taking a daily prenatal vitamin.
External Link

Did you know? Women in every state can get help to pay for medical care during pregnancy:
External Link

Print-and-Go-Guide: Simple Do’s and Don’ts When You’re Pregnant from @womenshealth: (PDF – 272KB)
External Link

Learn benefits of taking folic acid to prevent birth defects in your baby:
External Link

E-cards Have a Healthy Pregnancy

CDC:  Folic Acid

CDC:  Getting Ready

View more E-cards

Badges Web Badge

Get Involved

Take action to promote healthy pregnancies.

  1. Post an announcement and information on your organization’s Web site or through your listserv. (See sample announcement.)
  2. Connect with supportive partners in the media. Prepare public service announcement (PSA) scripts and write educational articles that may be used or adapted by local media. Recruit a local “birth defects prevention champion” for media interviews.
  3. Contact the communications lead for your agency. Ask that Birth Defects Prevention Month and related information be announced in your organization newsletter, all-staff emails, or included as a stuffer in payroll envelopes.
  4. Contact state or local businesses. Companies may add information about birth defects to their corporate or wellness newsletters, sponsor events such as baby fairs, or donate door prizes such as folic-acid rich food baskets to bridal fairs, health fairs, and other community events.
  5. Work with local libraries, stores, churches, community centers and community colleges, and universities to distribute information and/or materials.

Adapted from the National Birth Defects Prevention Network
Contact the National Birth Defects Prevention Network External Link at for more information and materials.

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