Las Vegas Urban League WIC: A Community Resource For Parents During Birth Defects Awareness Month
By: Urban League WIC
The Las Vegas Urban League Women, Infants and Children Program has counselors standing by to advise expectant parents on healthy choices to take during pregnancy and guidelines to follow after their child is born.
"While birth defects cannot be predicted, and in some situations prevented, there are steps an expectant mother can follow to increase her chances of having a healthy baby," WIC Program Nutritionist Rewina Tsegay said. "Before getting pregnant, try to maintain a healthy weight and stay active. Also, avoid harmful substances during pregnancy, such as alcohol, tobacco, marijuana, and other drugs. Make sure you have vaccinations recommended by your doctor."
Maintaining a proactive attitude is very important for couples planning to become parents and during a mother's pregnancy. WIC recommends women take 400 micrograms (mcg) of folic acid daily. This vitamin can be taken prior to becoming pregnant, as well as during pregnancy. Folic acid is important because it can help prevent some major birth defects of a baby's brain and spine.
"A woman should visit her healthcare physician both before and during her pregnancy," Tsegay said. "Discussing treatments before a pregnancy will allow a woman and her doctor to consider the pros and cons of options to keep a mother and her baby healthy."
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, some 120,000 babies, approximately 1 in 33, are born each year in the United States with birth defects. The most common are heart defects, neural tube defects and orofacial clefts.
After a baby is born, it's very important for new moms and dads to understand the benefits of breastfeeding/
"Our goal is to provide you and your family the support necessary to make informed decisions, and we want to provide continued encouragement for both parents on your breast/chest feeding journey," Breastfeeding Coordinator Semaj Bruce said. "You will find our breastfeeding nutrition education classes cover a wide range of informative topics to help parents grasp the idea of breast and/or chest feeding. Human milk is the best food for babies in the first year of life. It helps them grow healthy and strong and protects them from infections and illness."
The Las Vegas Urban League Women, Infants and Children Program is a 501c (3) program that is funded by the Nevada Department of Health and Human Services Division of Public Health.
For more information, visit the Urban League WIC website at: http://www.wiclv.org or their two convenient locations: 6480 W. Flamingo Road, Suite B, Las Vegas, phone (702) 227-1573 or 3320 E. Flamingo Road, Suite 50, Las Vegas, phone (702) 476-9561.
Page Updated Last on: May 04, 2021