Birth Defect Awareness - KXNet.com - Bismarck/Minot/Williston/Dickinson-KXNEWS,ND

Birth Defect Awareness

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A baby is born with a defect every 4 and a half minutes in the United States..

That's according to the state health department.

Governor Dalrymple declares January as "Birth Defect Prevention" month.

Reporter Macy Egeland met up with a doctor and new mom and has tips on how women can keep their babies healthy and happy.

Daphne Reyles of Hebron has 2 kids, and gave birth to another healthy baby boy on Wednesday..

"7 pounds 12 ounces"

All of her children were born without defects.. but many moms aren't so lucky.

1 in every 41 babies is born with a birth defect in North Dakota.

"A cleft lip or cleft pallet. Other times you may see extra fingers or toes." - Dr. Peter Klemin OB/GYN sanford.

Dr. Klemin says there are many things women can do to prevent defects.. maintaining a healthy diet, staying active and talking to a doctor about prescriptions are the top 3.

"During pregnancy a major need is taking folic acid. It's been proven to be extremely beneficial for preventing what's called neural tube defects... The other thing people can do if they have any health conditions such as diabetes, which is a primary one, the better control you have with some of your other health conditions or modifying medications that you take for them can significantly reduce the chance of a birth defect."

Folic acid is found in pastas, cereals and breads.. but many women take it as a supplement, often times in a prenatal vitamin.

The Department of Health says many birth defects can be detected and sometimes even corrected before the baby is born, so having regular doctor visits is important.

"I'm always thankful for that ultra sound at 20 weeks.. They can hopefully pick up on any kind of major things then and for me that ultra sound went well so I guess I wasn't too concerned but you always do worry a little bit until everything comes out okay."

Daphne believes her healthy eating and exercising helped keep her babies safe from any defects..

and that even after 3 kids, she might not be done just yet.

"We'll see how this one goes."

Dr. Klemin says women should also avoid drinking, smoking and other drug use during pregnancy.

The Department of health says around 2 billion dollars is spent correcting birth defects in the U.S. every year.

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