The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced that January is National Birth Defects Prevention month, and this year’s focus is “Prevent Infections for Baby’s Protection.” The CDC’s announcement states, “Birth defects are common, costly and critical, and they affect one in 33 U.S. babies annually.” A portion of those birth defects are caused by preventable infections.
In addition, January 8-14 is National Folic Acid Awareness Week. Folic acid helps to reduce the risk of serious birth defects of the brain and spine. WSHA’s Safe Deliveries Roadmap recommends that all pregnant women — as well as women who intend to or could get pregnant in the next year — consume folic acid daily through dietary supplementation with a prenatal vitamin and/or a fortified diet. Apple Health (Medicaid) covers both over-the-counter and prescription prenatal vitamins for all enrolled women of childbearing age. (Janine Reisinger)