Did you know that January is Birth Defects Prevention Month? The Teratology Society is planning a wide range of outreach activities starting in late December and continuing throughout the month of January to increase awareness that birth defects are “Common, Costly and Critical” and to communicate effective steps that can be taken by professionals, community groups, and the public to prevent birth defects.
Activities will include:
· A Press Release in late December drawing attention to the special issue of Birth Defects Research: Part C that focuses on the microbiome and the role that the transfer and maintenance of normal microbiota in pregnant mothers and fetuses plays in preventing immunological, metabolic, and neurological birth defects.
· A Birth Defects Insights Blog, authored by Dr. John M. Rogers, on concerns surrounding the use of e-cigarettes during pregnancy.
· Informational social media postings about the importance of preconception health, the increasing birth prevalence of gastroschisis, and risks associated with paternal exposures, marijuana use, and antidepressant use during pregnancy.
We are coordinating efforts with the National Birth Defects Prevention Network and spreading the word through other organizations, such as FASEB, DNTS, Society of Toxicology, American College of Toxicology, and the Scientific Liaison Coalition.
To maximize the impact of Birth Defects Prevention Month, WE NEED YOU! Do you already follow the Teratology Society on social media? We are on Facebook, LinkedIn, and now also Twitter! Click on the links and “Like” or “Follow” so that you will receive all of our posts and can easily “Share” them with your networks. Consider changing your Profile Picture to the “Make a Pact for Prevention” logo (shown above) that the Teratology Society will feature during January.
Spread the word about the scientific work YOU are doing. Don’t be shy! Birth Defects Prevention Month is a great time to let people know what you’re doing to advance birth defects research. 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. Here are some simple steps to take:
· Does the organization/institution you work for have a website, magazine, newsletter or other form of communication? Submit two-hree paragraphs for posting. Click here for an example template.
· The National Birth Defects Prevention Network website has a plethora of additional resources that you can use. If you need assistance with an article or resources, please contact Nicole Chavez at email@example.com.
Thank you for all of the contributions to the teratology field and our society’s mission. May you have a successful month communicating the importance of the work you do.