Toxic Stress: How it affects us and what we can do.
January is ...
National Birth Defects Prevention
Birth defects are abnormal conditions that happen before or at the time of birth. Some are mild–like an extra finger or toe. Some are very serious–like a heart defect. They can cause physical, mental, or medical problems. Some, like Down syndrome or sickle cell anemia, are caused by genetic factors. Others are caused by certain drugs, medicines or chemicals. But the causes of most birth defects are still a mystery. Researchers are working hard to learn the causes of birth defects so that we can find ways to prevent them.
Learn more from CDC
Folic Acid Awareness Week
January 5 - 11
Get 400 micrograms (mcg) of folic acid every day. Folic acid is a B vitamin. If a woman has enough folic acid in her body at least one month before and during pregnancy, it can help prevent major birth defects of the developing brain and spine (anencephaly and spina bifida). Women can get folic acid from fortified foods or supplements, or a combination of the two, in addition to a varied diet rich in folate.
Cervical Health Awareness
January is Cervical Health Awareness Month, and there’s a lot you can do to prevent cervical cancer. Each year, more than 11,000 women in the United States get cervical cancer.
HPV (human papillomavirus) is a very common infection that spreads through sexual activity, and it causes almost all cases of cervical cancer. About 79 million Americans currently have HPV, but many people with HPV don’t know they are infected.
The good news?
- The HPV vaccine (shot) can prevent HPV.
- Cervical cancer can often be prevented with regular screening tests and follow-up care.
In honor of National Cervical Health Awareness Month, The HSCSC encourages:
- Women to start getting regular cervical cancer screenings at age 21
- Parents to make sure pre-teens get the HPV vaccine at age 11 or 12
Teens and young adults also need to get the HPV vaccine if they didn’t get it as pre-teens. Women up to age 26 and men up to age 21 can still get the vaccine.