FASD resources from NBDPN Birth Defects Prevention Month 2015

For their January Birth Defects Prevention Month campaign, the National Birth Defects Prevention Network (NBDPN) produced a downloadable resource package, in collaboration with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), Teratology Society (TS), and more. The theme for 2015 is “Making Healthy Choices to Prevent Birth Defects—Make a PACT for Prevention.” Not all birth defects can be prevented, but steps can be taken to increase a woman’s chance of having a healthy baby. The guide encourages all pregnant women and those who may become pregnant to:

Plan ahead

  • Get as healthy as possible before becoming pregnant.
  • Get 400 micrograms (mcg) of folic acid every day.

Avoid harmful substances

  • Avoid drinking alcohol and smoking.
  • Be careful with harmful exposures at work and home.

Choose a healthy lifestyle

  • Eat a healthy diet that includes fruits, vegetables, whole grains, low fat dairy, and lean proteins.
  • Be physically active.
  • Work to get medical conditions like diabetes under control.

Talk to your doctor

  • Get a medical check up.
  • Discuss all medications, both prescription and over-the-counter.
  • Talk about family history.

The resource contains links to support materials and resources for each of the four sections of PACT in the areas of:

  • Key Messages
  • Actions & activities
  • Resources for families/women
  • Resources for Healthcare Providers

The resource pack also stresses the value for men to take good care of their diet and health during the reproductive years to help reduce the risk of birth defects in their children.

NBDPN’s goal for 2015 is to continue to increase awareness that birth defects are “Common, Costly and Critical” and to offer actionable steps that can be taken by professionals, community groups, and the public to prevent birth defects. Materials developed by NBDPN are available at www.nbdpn.org and can be tailored to meet your specific agency's mission, needs, and capacity. Copies of most brochures are available at no cost.

The guide contains a fact sheet for policy makers (targeted to an American audience, but containing useful extracts) along with posters highlighting the PACT points for a general audience, which could be used in a program context.