Half of all pregnancies are unplanned, so improved health for all women of childbearing age helps prevent adverse birth conditions.
- Click here for a printable profile of NH birth conditions and preconception health indicators.
- Click here to see the latest research on risk factors from the National Birth Defects Prevention Study.
Risk Factors by the Numbers
Some factors that increase risk for birth conditions are listed below, with the percent of New Hampshire women of childbearing age who are at higher risk:
|Total NH Women Age|
18-44 = 223,000
|% with Risk Factor||Increased Risk for Babies with|
|Heavy alcohol usera||5||Fetal alcohol syndrome
|Current smokera||24||Cleft lip
|Not taking acida||60||Spina bifida
There are 900 births to women younger than 20 each year.c These babies are 7 times more likely to have gastroschisis than babies born to mothers age 25-30.
There are 2400 births to women age 35 and older each year.c These babies are 3-6 times more likely to have Down syndrome than babies born to mothers age 25-30.
Other Early Pregnancy Risk Factorsd
Anticonvulsant (epilepsy) drugs
|*Women who could be pregnant should always consult with their doctor before starting OR stopping any medicine!|