For Immediate Release
January 8, 2008

KDHE Office of Communications
communications@kdheks.gov, 785-296-0461


Preventing Infections in Pregnancy

January is National Birth Defects Prevention Month

The Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) is joining the National Birth Defects Prevention Network (NBDPN) to share the message that a mother’s health before, during and after pregnancy is an important foundation to having a healthy baby who grows up healthy. “Preventing Infections in Pregnancy” is the theme of National Birth Defects Prevention Month this January.

Good health habits for everyone include knowing your family history and genetic risks, seeing a doctor, taking care to not expose oneself to diseases and managing health problems. For women, these habits should also include taking a multivitamin with 400 mcg of folic acid daily starting before becoming pregnant.

“Women who are pregnant or planning to get pregnant need to be careful,” said Linda Kenney, Director of the Bureau of Family Health. “Good habits to avoid infection include frequent handwashing, careful handling of raw meats, staying away from dirty cat litter and not handling pet rodents or their bedding. Women should also talk with their doctors about testing for infections like group B strep and hepatitis B.”

KDHE and NBDPN are reminding doctors and other health care providers to provide more education for women about infections that can harm a baby before it is born.

“We are pleased to be a part of this national public awareness campaign. We hope to reach women, their families and health care providers in our state with this important message,” said Kenney.

To learn more about preventing infections in pregnancy, please contact your local health department or the KDHE toll-free number at 800-322-6262. To learn more about NBDPN and Birth Defects Prevention Month, please visit www.nbdpn.org.