A new name, a new look—What a year 2019 has been for our Society! The Society for Birth Defects Research and Prevention (BDRP) transformed this year, emerging with a new name and logo, all while maintaining the same mission—understanding and preventing birth defects and disorders of developmental and reproductive origin through multi-disciplinary research, exchange of ideas, communication and education.
As part of our continued effort to raise the profile of our Society as well as gain name recognition for our new brand, we are aggressively jumping into 2020 for January’s Birth Defects Prevention Month. As researchers in the fields of birth defects and developmental disorders, January is our month and we aim to own it each and every year. 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 heavily contributed expertise to a resource toolkit titled “Best for You. Best for Baby: Tips for Preventing Birth Defects.” The toolkit has been updated to include BDRP’s new name in several places, including in the tool-kit’s introduction. In it, we communicate effective steps that can be taken by prospective parents, professionals, community groups, and the public to prevent birth defects.
Additional BDRP activities during January will include:
- Increased social media posts to promote the 5 tips for prevention of birth defects.
- Promotion of our President’s Message video, which can be shared with your networks.
- A webinar on January 21 featuring member Katie O’Shaughnessy, PhD, presenting her cutting-edge research which earned her the 2019 BDRP Innovator Award.
- A live Birth Defects Prevention Month Twitter chat on Jan. 22 at 2:00 pm—3:00 pm ET using the hashtag #best4youbest4baby. BDRP will co-host alongside March of Dimes, MotherToBaby and the CDC.
- A Birth Defects Insights blog covering the latest research on marijuana exposure in pregnancy.
- A press release to promote the special Birth Defects Research issue on genetic testing.
To maximize the impact of Birth Defects Prevention Month, WE NEED YOU! Suggested actions include:
- Follow BDRP 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.
- Change your social media profile picture to the "Best for You. Best for Baby" graphic included in this post during the month of January.
- Share our latest edition of the Teratology Primer, which is featured as a “Partner Resource” on the NBDPN website.
- Follow and use the hashtag #Best4YouBest4Baby and share/retweet the posts we, as well as our partners, are posting (for those unfamiliar with social media, this year’s packet contains helpful social media use guidelines).
- Support our sister society’s efforts, such as MotherToBaby/OTIS’ podcast hosted by new BDRP member, Chris Stallman, Certified Genetic Counselor. In January, The MotherToBaby Podcast will cover the 5 tips for preventing birth defects. Two guests from the CDC join Chris for the special two-part episode series scheduled to publish in mid and late January.
- 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 and prevention efforts. 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 public relations staff, website, magazine, newsletter or other form of communication? Submit two-three paragraphs for posting. The NBDPN 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 and our Society’s mission of preventing birth defects and disorders of developmental and reproductive origin. May you have a successful month and year communicating the importance of the work you do.
Wishing you a healthy and safe 2020!
Christine Perdan Curran, PhD