Helpful tips...

Taking 400 micrograms of folic acid every day, before and during pregnancy, may help prevent birth defects.

Where is folic acid found?

Daily vitamins

Enriched/fortified foods such as flours, breads, cereal and pasta

Beans: lentils, pinto beans and black beans

Leafy green vegetables: spinach and romaine lettuce




Citrus fruits: oranges, grapefruit

Orange juice (from concentrate is best)


National Council on Folic Acid

PIKEVILLE - January is National Birth Defects Prevention Month. About one in every 33 babies, or one baby every 4.5 minutes, is born with a birth defect.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “Major birth defects are conditions present at birth that cause structural changes in one or more parts of the body. They can have a serious, adverse effect on health, development or functional ability.”

“Birth defects can be devastating. Ranging from simple to severe, they can cause disabilities or even death,” said PMC OB-GYN Rebecca McCowan. “Since some birth defects are preventable, awareness and education are crucial. Through the help of blood testing and sonography, Pikeville Medical Center is able to identify some birth defects early, allowing for the most optimal treatment.”

Birth defects usually occur in the first three months of pregnancy and sometimes even before a woman knows she is pregnant. They may be caused by factors such as genetics, behavior and environment.

Unfortunately, the cause of many birth defects is unknown and not all birth defects can be prevented.

However, here are some steps a woman can take before and during pregnancy to increase the chance of having a healthy baby:

•Take 400 micrograms of folic acid every day

•Do not drink alcohol during pregnancy

•Do not smoke, and avoid being around those who do

•Do not use illegal or “street” drugs

•Discuss all medications you are taking during pregnancy, even if they are prescribed, with your OB-GYN

•Try to prevent infections

•Talk to your physician before taking any vaccinations during pregnancy

•If diabetic, keep blood sugar levels under control

•Maintain a healthy weight

•See a health care provider on a regular basis

PMC provides complete gynecological and obstetrical care for women before and after pregnancy. With office locations in Pikeville and Harold, PMC’s experienced team of OB-GYNs treats patients from Pike, Floyd, Johnson, Martin, Magoffin, Mingo and Letcher counties.

Available services include: annual exams, comprehensive pregnancy and postpartum care, family planning ovarian screenings, bone density and STD testing, laparoscopic hysterectomies, and treatment for polycystic ovarian syndrome, endometriosis, pelvic pain, infertility, incontinence and menopause.

Below is the contact information for PMC’s OB-GYN Physician Practices:

•Pikeville Medical Women’s Care Center

Drs. Crum, McClellan, McCowan, McGuire and Mullins

Professional Associates Building, 419 Town Mountain Road, Suite 206, Pikeville


•Harold Family Physicians and Women’s Health Services

Dr Maggard

246 KY RT. 979, Harold