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National Birth Defects Prevention Month

Teagan holding a picture of him in the hospital

January is National Birth Defects Prevention Month! Join us in this nationwide effort to raise awareness of birth defects, their causes, and their impact!

Each January, we raise awareness among women and families on actions they can take to help have a healthy pregnancy. January is also a time to recognize people living with birth defects. Thanks to ongoing medical advancements, children born with birth defects are living longer. These children and their families still need help. They often need specialized treatment, continued care, and strong social support to improve their overall quality of life. Awareness is key.

What can you do? Help spread the word!


Join the #1in33 Thunderclap to raise awareness of National Birth Defects Prevention Month. Thunderclap is a social media tool that allows supporters to sign up in advance to share a unified message at a specific time via their individual Facebook, Twitter, or Tumblr account. The collective action creates a wave of support – or “thunderclap” – across social media. Our Thunderclap will go live on January 20, 2016 at 12PM EST. This unified message encourages people to join the effort to raise awareness about birth defects and make a difference. Sign up here.

Boys making a heart. Text saying #1 in 33
#1in33 This is Me

Have birth defects affected your life? Are you living with a heart defect? Are you the parent or sibling of a person living with spina bifida? Did your best friend or favorite aunt have a cleft lip or palate? Share your story! Create an original picture or a video about your story and post on social media tagged with #1in33

Even if you don’t have a story to share, check out our family stories here and across social media to read about how birth defects affect people’s lives. Take a moment to learn more about how you can support a child or family living with a birth defect in your community.

Woman eating healthy

I'm #LivingMyPACT by eating fruits and vegetables every day!


Making healthy choices and adopting healthy habits now is important for your own health, but also for the health of the children you may have one day. We know that not all birth defects can be prevented, but there are steps people can take to help have a healthy pregnancy. This month and throughout the year, we encourage you to make healthy choices to help prevent birth defects. Make a PACT for prevention: Plan ahead, Avoid harmful substances, Choose a healthy lifestyle, and Talk to your healthcare provider.

Tell us how you are living your PACT for a healthy baby now or sometime in the future. Encourage others to live their PACT too! Celebrate those who motivate you and inspire others to get healthy before and during pregnancy. Here are some ideas:

  • Create an original picture or a video and post on social media tagged with #LivingMyPACT
  • Ask your friends and followers to help raise awareness with you by sharing how they are living their PACT in their own #LivingMyPACT picture or video


Buttons and Images to share


Social Media Library


Birth Defects Materials

Real Stories

Note: Photos/images posted on social media may be included in federal and/or partner promotions.