Birth Defects Prevention Month

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Every four and a half minutes a baby is born with a birth defect.

That's one in every 33 babies.

The goal is to decrease those numbers.

January is Birth Defects Prevention Month.

Martha Dawson, director of Women's and Children's Services at Camden Clark Medical Center says congenital heart defects are most common in West Virginia.

Birth defects are costly and critical and the public can take steps to prevent them.

"Especially if you're of childbearing age or you're thinking about becoming pregnant," Dawson says. "One of the ways you can decrease your risk for having a birth defect is to plan your pregnancies and get a prenatal visit before you get pregnant, go to your doctor. You know, check and see what you can be doing to make it less risk for yourself."

Dawson also says make sure you are the healthiest you can be prior to your pregnancy.

If you have any conditions, including diabetes - get it under control and take extra folic acid.

Those kinds of things will decrease your risk.

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