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Birth Defects AwarenessSubmitted: 02/03/2013
Story By Melissa Constanzer

ONEIDA COUNTY - When expecting, everyone hopes for a healthy child. To help ensure this, there are some things a mother can do.

"During pregnancy it is very important for women to take a multivitamin as well as stay away from things drinking and smoking as well as drugs," says Brenda Husing, Oneida County Registered Dietitian

But birth defects affect 1 in 33 babies every year.

"Some of the most common birth defects are heart defects. Also spina bifida and encephalocele. Some of these can be prevented by taking folic acid prior to conception. About 50 percent of pregnancies are unplanned. So any woman of child bearing age should really be taking a multivitamin or folic acid supplement," says Brenda Husing.

However, even after taking all these precautions a child can be born with a birth defect. Luckily there are places you can go for help.

"Birth to three is an early intervention program and we serve children ages 0 to 3 who need to have a 25 percent delay in at least one area of development to qualify," says Maureen Juras, Manager of Birth to Three.

Birth to three can help out in a number of ways. From speech and physical therapy to helping find financial support. But the best preventative measure is to take prenatal vitamins and avoid drugs and alcohol use.


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