National Birth Defects Prevention Month – brought to you by The Stork’s Landing Maternity Center at Lake Norman Regional Medical Center

January 30, 2012 by Michael DeStefano, Marketing Intern

Prevention is the topic of the month, and Lake Norman Regional Medical Center’s The Stork’s Landing Maternity Center is sharing guidelines about this very important topic. According to the Centers for Disease Control, congenital heart defects are the most prevalent amongst newborns and are a leading cause of death within the child’s first year of life.

Congenital heart defects affect the development of the baby’s heart and how it works. The good news is that new ways of preventing and treating birth defects are being discovered every day.

Expectant mothers can do their part by:

  • Eating right and exercising
  • Drinking extra fluids, especially water
  • Getting enough sleep (aim for 7 to 9 hours per night)
  • Setting limits in your life to manage stress
  • Getting a flu shot
  • Maintaining a healthy weight during pregnancy

Additionally, consistent and quality prenatal care is a necessity for expectant mothers. Health care providers stress the importance of increased folic acid intake both prior to and during pregnancy.

The National Council on Folic Acid (NCFA) lists leafy green vegetables, such as spinach, broccoli and lettuce as excellent sources of folic acid. Additionally, they recommend regularly consuming beans, peas, lentils, bananas and melons. You can also find enriched or fortified cereals, breads and juices. Simply check the nutritional labels for folic acid.