Birth Defects

Birth defects are conditions that occur before or at the time of birth. A birth defect may affect a child’s health or development. The child may need special medical care or therapy as a result. Some conditions are caused by genetic factors, like Down syndrome. Others are caused by exposures during pregnancy, like alcohol use. The causes of many birth defects are still unknown. They affect the physical and emotional health of thousands of Michigan children and families each year. This makes them a serious public health problem. Some birth defects can be prevented by healthy habits such as taking folic acid daily before and during pregnancy. The resources below provide great tips on prevention strategies, treatment options and support for Michigan families.

Highlighted Resources

Birth Defects and Genetic Conditions Resources

This virtual version of the Birth Defects Toolkit provides links to Michigan resources for families and professionals that may be helpful in caring for children with birth defects and a variety of genetic conditions.

Birth Defects Prevention Month Highlight

The National Birth Defects Prevention Network (NBDPN) provides resource materials for use during Birth Defects Prevention Month that is celebrated each January. This website provides helpful information about birth defects prevention through pamphlets, fact sheets and online resources for families, providers, policy makers and anyone determined to prevent birth defects.

Birth Defects Prevention Order Form

Order form for MDCH birth defects prevention materials.

MDHHS Birth Defects Edcuation and Outreach Program

The Michigan Birth Defects Prevention program strives to prevent birth defects and provide support for all Michigan families affected with birth defects.

Michigan Birth Defects Statistics and Reports

A compilation of statistics and prevalence rates from the Michigan Department of Community Health Birth Defects Registry on infant mortality and birth defects.

National Center for Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities (NCBDDD)

The National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities is dedicated to protecting people who are especially vulnerable to health risks - babies, children and people with disabilities. Specifically to identify the causes of birth defects and developmental disabilities; help children reach their full potential and promote health and well-being among all ages with disabilities including blood disorders

Additional Resources

Be Well Bookmark

A MDCH bookmark created in English and Arabic focusing on the importance of 400mcg of folic acid a day.

Birth Defects Prevention Month Archive

The National Birth Defects Prevention Network (NBDPN) provides resource materials for use during Birth Defects Prevention Month that is celebrated each January. This archive is a collection of past Michigan and National resources from past Birth Defects Prevention months. The focus is to promote preconception health and for all women of childbearing age to have optimal health before conception.

Birth Defects Registry Online Training Course

The Birth Defects Registry Course discusses the value of the registry and teaches individuals how to correctly complete the Birth Defects reporting forms.

Birth Defects Statistics

Michigan birth defects statistics arranged by county or local health department.

CHD Awareness Week

A website dedicated to Congenital Heart Defects Awareness Week and materials to help promote the cause.

Critical Congenital Heart Disease Newborn Screening Program

Working together with the Michigan Newborn Screening Program, MDHHS is implementing a demonstration program to assess the feasibility of screening all Michigan newborns for critical congenital heart defects using pulse oximetry prior to hospital discharge.

Early On

Early On Michigan is available to parents concerned with his or her child's growth and development and assist families with infants and toddlers, from birth until they turn 36 months or 3 years of age, who may be experiencing delays in their development or if they have a diagnosed disability.

Family History and Your Health Newsletter

We all enjoy passing customs down to our kids, but few of us pass down something that may be important for our children's health or motivate them to choose a healthy lifestyle - the family health history.  This newsletter helps put the focus on pediatric family health histories.

February 28, 2015: Rare Disease Day

I, Rick Snyder, governor of Michigan do hereby proclaim February 28, 2015, as Rare Disease Day in Michigan.

Folic Acid - Take it for your Health

This MDCH pamphlet promotes the consumption of 400 micrograms of folic acid for all women of childbearing age to help reduce the risk of birth defects.

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