The March of Dimes calls upon all states to adopt the new national standard of screening for at least 30 treatable conditions that are not obvious at birth. Early diagnosis and proper treatment of these disorders can make the difference between lifelong impairment and healthy development. Each year an estimated 6,000 newborns are diagnosed with a treatable metabolic condition and another 12,000 with a hearing impairment.
is a common parasitic infection that often causes no symptoms. About 30 percent of pregnant women who develop toxoplasmosis pass the infection on to their babies, sometimes resulting in vision and learning problems, serious newborn complications and, occasionally, death.Toxoplasmosis
during pregnancy also can cause preterm delivery or stillbirth. Pregnant women can reduce their risk of toxoplasmosis
by avoiding possible sources of the infection, such as raw or undercooked meats and cat feces. A pregnant woman should ask someone else to change the cat's litter box.
Studies suggest that babies of obese mothers
are about twice as likely as women of average weight to have a baby with spina bifida (open spine) or related birth defects. They also may be at slightly increased risk of heart and limb defects. Today about 1 in 4 women of reproductive age are obese. A woman who is obese should discuss her weight with her health care provider before pregnancy and work towards reaching a healthy weight to improve her chances of having a healthy pregnancy and healthy baby.