July is National Cleft and Craniofacial Awareness and Prevention Month, an effort to raise awareness and improve understanding of birth defects of the head and face, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Common craniofacial birth defects include orofacial clefts (cleft lip, cleft palate, or both). Each year in the U.S., thousands of babies are born with a cleft, occurring when tissue in the baby’s upper lip or roof of the mouth does not join together completely during pregnancy.
January is National Birth Defects Prevention Month, a time to focus on raising awareness about the frequency with which birth defects occur in the United States and of the steps that can be taken to prevent them. While not all birth defects can be prevented, there are things a women can do get ready for a healthy pregnancy. This is important because many birth defects happen very early during pregnancy, sometimes before a woman even knows she is pregnant. There are some steps a woman can take to get ready for a healthy pregnancy.