It’s that time of year again - January is Birth Defects Prevention Month. As researchers in the birth defects field, let’s own it.
Alongside the National Birth Defects Prevention Network (NBDPN), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, March of Dimes, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and the Organization of Teratology Information Specialists (OTIS)/MotherToBaby, we have contributed expertise to a resource packet titled “Prevent to Protect: Prevent Infections for Baby’s Protection.” In it, we communicate effective steps that can be taken by professionals, community groups, and the public to prevent birth defects. This year, there are expanded messages and resources surrounding Zika virus included in the packet.
Additional Teratology Society activities during January will include:
- Increased social media posts, the launching of a Facebook campaign aimed at other scientists and the promotion of our latest press release for our Journal, Birth Defects Research: The Teenage Brain. Promotion of our Fiverr video (animated whiteboard) which we co-sponsored with the NBDPN for use on websites and social media. We hope you’ll share it through your networks as well: https://youtu.be/jSsigmAOISk
- Promotion of my President’s Message video, which can be seen and shared with your networks here: https://youtu.be/vnJaEeOHhQE
- An "Opioids in Pregnancy and Lactation" webinar on January 24 featuring Teratology Society member Dr. Sarah Obican, in collaboration with OTIS/MotherToBaby, the National Society of Genetic Counselors and the Society of Maternal-Fetal Medicine. The webinar is free, but registration is required. Register here: http://bit.ly/OpioidWeb
- Coordination of efforts with NBDPN, OTIS/MotherToBaby, and other organizations with which the Teratology Society has relationships.
To maximize the impact of Birth Defects Prevention Month, WE NEED YOU! Suggested actions include:
- Follow the Teratology Society on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter! Click on the links and “Like” or “Follow” so that you will receive our posts and can easily “Share” them with your networks.
- Join the "Prevent to Protect" Thunderclap!
- Change your social media profile picture to the jpeg graphic at the top of this article during the month of January.
- Share the new folic acid infographic.
- Follow and use the hashtag #prevent2protectand share/retweet the posts we, as well as our partners, are posting.
- Support our sister society’s resources regarding infections, like OTIS’ MotherToBaby fact sheet on influenza during pregnancy.
Spread the word about the scientific work YOU are doing. Birth Defects Prevention Month is a great time to let people know what you’re doing to advance birth defects research. You could highlight your own work and how, as part of the world’s premier society for birth defects research, your work is part of a global birth defects research, prevention, and education effort. Does the organization/institution you work for have a website, magazine, newsletter or other form of communication? Submit two-three paragraphs for posting. The National Birth Defects Prevention Network website has a plethora of resources that you can use, including an article we developed specifically for Birth Defects Prevention Month on infection information for women planning a pregnancy. If you need assistance with an article or resources, please contact Nicole Chavez.
Thank you for your contributions to the field of teratology and our Society’s mission of preventing birth defects and disorders of developmental and reproductive origin. May you have a successful month communicating the importance of the work you do.