January is National Birth Defects Prevention Month.
About one in every 33 babies is born with a birth defect. Not all birth defects can be prevented. But a woman can take steps to increase her own chance of having a baby with the best health possible.
Birth defects can affect almost any part of the body (e.g., heart, brain, extremities, mouth). They may affect how the body looks, works, or both. Birth defects can vary from mild to severe. The well-being of each child affected with a birth defect depends mostly on which organ or body part is involved and how much it is affected. Depending on the severity of the defect and what body part is affected, the expected lifespan of a person with a birth defect may or may not be affected.