A daunting statistic from the Center of Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) reveals that one in nearly 33 babies are born with a birth effect. Luckily there are measures to reduce the risk of birth defects.
January is National Birth Defects Prevention month, and FSAstore wanted to highlight ways in which women can prepare for their baby’s arrival.
Birth defects are not always preventable, but here are a few basic steps to lower their odds:
1. Never smoke or drink during pregnancy – a baby is directly exposed to smoke and alcohol when a woman drinks or smokes and the birth defect risk increases.
2. Consult health care professionals on a regular basis for checkups, for advice on any vaccinations, and for general health care. Women’s health services such as obstetrics and gynecology, prenatal/maternity and postnatal care are FSA eligible.
This month is also Cervical Cancer Awareness month, and two FSA eligible tests (pap smears and HPV vaccine) could help detect cervical cancer or prevent it. Find a women’s health provider near you through our FSA Services section to schedule a checkup.
3. Take 400 mg of folic acid each day before and during pregnancy.
“Folic acid is a B vitamin. If a woman has enough folic acid in her body before and during pregnancy, it can help prevent major birth defects of the baby’s brain and spine.” – Center for Disease Control & Prevention
The U.S. Public Health Service in 1992 recommended that women intending on pregnancy take the daily 400 mg dose of folic acid to reduce the birth defects risk. Later data showed the use of folic acid decreased the prevalence of birth effects.
Shop the baby care category to discover other FSA eligible products such as breast pumps, overnight underpants and baby thermometers to keep your little one smiling.