If you are pregnant or planning on having a baby soon, there are things you can do to give your baby the best chance for a healthy life.
- The best option is to plan your pregnancy by:
- seeing your health care provider before you get pregnant, or as soon as you suspect your are pregnant
- getting medical conditions, like obesity, diabetes, or seizures under control
- taking a vitamin with 400 micrograms of folic acid daily before and during pregnancy
- Take care of yourself by:
- getting plenty of rest
- exercising moderately
- eating a well-balanced diet
- avoiding contact with chemicals that may harm an unborn baby
- avoiding tobacco, alcohol, and street drugs
- talking with your health care provider before taking any over-the-counter drugs
Getting prenatal care can help to find some problems early in pregnancy so that they can be monitored or treated before birth. Some problems might be avoided with prenatal care. Preventing birth defects, and their human and financial costs, is a major goal of District Health Department #10.
- Birth defects are the leading cause of death in the first year of life.
- About 120,000 babies (1 in 33) in the U.S. are born each year with birth defects.
- In Michigan, approximately 8,000 babies are born with birth defects every year.
- There are many different types of birth defects. The most common are heart defects, neural tube defects, and oro-facial clefts.
- The cause is unknown in about 70% of birth defects.
DHD#10 – Pregnancy Support
Michigan Department of Health and Human Services
Healthy Michigan Plan 855-789-5610
Planned Parenthood 800-230-PLAN
U.S. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention
Office of Population Affairs, Title X Family Planning