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Bright Futures

Articles and Updates from Phoenix Children's

January 20, 2021, Leeuwen, Kathy van, MD ,
January Birth Defects Awareness Month
January Birth Defects Awareness Month

January is National Birth Defects Prevention Month and our team at the Phoenix Children’s Fetal Care Center is ready to support you and your family as you prepare for the birth of your baby.

We recommend following your obstetrician’s guidelines on what you can do to support a healthy pregnancy including:

  • Taking folic acid and vitamins
  • Maintaining a healthy weight
  • Seeing a healthcare provider regularly
  • Following vaccination recommendations
  • Avoiding substances that are harmful

Three out of one hundred babies will need a pediatric specialty provider for a concern found on a prenatal ultrasound or after the baby is born. We have hundreds of providers who offer specialty clinics for all of these babies. Take spina bifida for example. That diagnosis needs services from before the baby is born all the way into adolescence and adulthood. This defect in the baby’s spinal column can be overwhelming to understand and manage for a family that was expecting a smooth pregnancy. The team from our Spina Bifida Clinic can educate and empower parents to be ready to handle the health challenges that may arise. We also have the most experienced neonatal ICU staff to care for these babies while they are in our hospital.

When it’s time to go home, we schedule your visits in our comprehensive “one-stop” clinics to minimize the amount of back and forth and juggling of multiple appointments. In these clinics, our providers come together to talk about your baby’s wellness and progress as he/she grows. We follow national guidelines and care pathways. We also connect families who have similar experiences as a way to build community support and networking. In fact, we created these specialty clinics to specifically cater to the unique needs of a family going through a complicated journey. We listen and adapt our services based on what our patients need because it is truly our joy to help families navigate what can sometimes be a difficult road with lots of hurdles. Watch this amazing video featuring the Reeve Family and their son Patrick below.

Finding out your baby has a birth defect can be overwhelming. Having a plan can make it seem more manageable. Phoenix Children’s Fetal Care Center will help to build your care team and customize that plan to achieve the best outcome for your special baby. Sometimes the defect can turn out to be your baby’s superpower!

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