Birth Defect Prevention

Feb 2, 2014 | Obstetrics

Prevention of birth defects is as easy as taking a multivitamin daily. Birth defects occur in 3% of all pregnancies and not all can be prevented. Many related to the development of the spine can be prevented with regular folic acid supplementation prior to and during pregnancy. These preventable birth defects occur early in fetal development, many times before you realize you are pregnant. Taking a multivitamin daily can significantly reduce the risks of birth defects in a planned or unplanned pregnancy. You can also increase your folic acid level with fortified breads and cereals—the folic acid content is listed on the nutrition label. 50-70% of neural tube defects could be prevented if all women who could become pregnant would take just 400mcg of folic acid daily. There is even some data that suggests taking folic acid regularly decreases your risk for certain cancers. It’s easy to pair taking a vitamin with something you do every day like brushing your teeth or eating breakfast.