Birth Defects Prevention Program

Birth Defects Prevention

In the 1990s, South Carolina was leading the country in the number of babies being born with defects, known as neural tube defects (NTD). NTDs are abnormalities of the developing brain and spine. These defects occur very early in pregnancy, often before the mother realizes she’s pregnant.

All women who are childbearing age should take 0.4 mg of folic acid, a B vitamin, daily to prevent an NTD. Research has shown that if a woman takes folic acid through a daily multivitamin, she dramatically reduces the risk of these birth defects in her baby. Folic acid can also be found in prenatal vitamins and in many types of foods such as green leafy vegetables, cereals, pasta, bread, beans and orange juice.

In 1991, South Carolina had a higher rate of NTDs than any other area in the country. Now, we’ve seen the rate of neural tube defects decrease by a staggering 60%, leading GGC’s SC Birth Defects Prevention Program to be held up as a model for other states to follow. This dramatic decline saves over $21 million per year in healthcare costs, but even more importantly, it means that 70 babies are born healthy across our state each year.

For more information or to schedule a presentation for your group, contact Jane Dean, RN at jane@ggc.org or 1-800-676-6332.

One Mother's Story

One Mother's Story

After a long three-year struggle trying to have children, our son, Charlie, was born on April 18, 2009. He was our miracle...perfect in every way! When Charlie was five days old, our pediatrician called to notify us that one of the numbers from the heel prick test was a bit high. We headed to the hospital that afternoon for more tests. I will never forget the following day. It was cool and crisp - not a cloud in the sky....

In The News