PACT Help Prevent Birth Defects

Abigail Aparicio 10/14/16

The meaning of PACT:

Woman can increase their chances of having a healthy baby. By making a PACT, you're making a commitment to yourself, getting healthy before and during pregnancy, avoid harmful substances, choosing a healthy lifestyle, and talking with your healthcare provider.

1. Plan ahead

  • Get 400 micrograms of folic acid every day. Folic acid is a B vitamin, by taking this the woman can prevent major birth defects (Anencephaly and Spina Bifida).
  • See healthcare professional regularly. A woman should be sure to see her doctor before and during pregnancy.

2. Avoid harmful substances

  • Avoid alcohol at any time during pregnancy.
  • Avoid smoking cigarettes.
  • Avoid marijuana and other "street drugs"
  • Prevent infections

3. Choose a healthy lifestyle

  • Keep diabetes under control. Poor control of diabetes during pregnancy increases the chances of birth defects and other problems.
  • Strive to reach and maintain a healthy weight. A woman who is obese is at higher risk for complications during pregnancy. Obesity can also cause several serious birth defects.

4. Talk with your healthcare provider

  • Talk to a healthcare provider about taking any medications.
  • Talk to a healthcare provider about vaccinations.

Knowing that you are doing all that you can to get ready for pregnancy, staying healthy during pregnancy, and giving your baby a healthy start in life will help you to have peace of mind.