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How can I help prevent a birth defect in my baby if I am pregnant?

The number one way to prevent birth defects in your baby when you are pregnant is to get regular prenatal care. Your healthcare professional will recommend that you take a prenatal vitamin with folic acid and avoid things that cause birth defects such as smoking, alcohol, street drugs and certain medications. Medical problems, such as diabetes, will be controlled, and you will receive appropriate vaccinations. Ask your healthcare provider how to avoid sources of infection that may cause illness in you and your baby. These steps will not prevent all birth defects but will give your baby the best possible chance of being well developed and healthy.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.