Dr. Kirtly Pakrer Jones explains some of the actions women can take to prevent birth defects.">

Jan 16, 2018 ā€” New mothers often fear their child may have a birth defect, and sadly, birth defects are relatively common. Roughly one in 33 newborn babies will have a birth defect. On today's Health Minute, Dr. Kirtly Pakrer Jones explains some of the actions women can take to prevent birth defects.

Interview

Announcer: The Health Minute, produced by University of Utah Health.

Interviewer: Luckily, most babies are born normal and healthy, but birth defects can be common. Dr. Kirtly Jones, what causes them, and are there things that could be done to avoid them?

Dr. Jones: Well, as you said, birth defects are common. In fact, 1 in 33 babies are born with a birth defect. There are some ways that a woman can decrease and prevent the risk of some birth defects. If you have diabetes or pre-diabetes, get your sugar under control and maintain a healthy weight to decrease the risk of heart defects. Get enough folic acid to decrease your risk of your baby having nervous system defects. But some birth defects we just don't understand, and some are not preventable. We need to know more. We need to talk more about birth defects in planning pregnancies and in research, and we can make progress if we work together.

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