Know The Common Types Of Birth Defects And Their Causes

Birth defects can occur due to many reasons, like genetics, infection, drug exposure, and radiation. Your baby can have visibly obvious defects, like a missing birthmark, a kidney that hasn’t formed right, or chemical imbalance that results in delayed development. Obstruction in the small intestine or duodenal atresia increases the risk of preterm birth. Limb defects happen when the inner lining of the amniotic sack wraps around parts of the fetus, like a finger or foot. Some birth defects can be mild while others can be life-threatening, and the baby may live only for a few weeks or months.

Symptoms of birth defects vary widely, ranging from trouble feeding, abnormal shape of the head, frequent infections, joint problems, and spinal cord not being fully enclosed.

Down’s Syndrome
Down’s Syndrome is caused due to an extra copy of Chromosome 21 that can result in muscle weakness, malformed ears, defects of the heart and intestines, and a downward slant of the eyes. In Turner Syndrome, a female baby lacks part or all of one X chromosome, resulting in learning disabilities, short stature, and absence of ovaries. Trisomy 13 and Trisomy 18 are caused by inheriting extra copies of the 13th and 18th chromosomes respectively.

Congenital Heart Defect (CHD)
In Congenital Heart Defect (CHD), your baby’s heart doesn’t develop normally, and can change the way the heart pumps blood. The baby’s heart can flow the blood too slowly, pump it the wrong way, or block it completely. There could be a hole in the left and right sides of the heart (septal defects). Additionally, there could be defects in the heart valves or large blood vessels.

Hemophilia is a rare bleeding disorder in which the blood loses it capability to clot properly. It can result in too much loss of blood after an injury or surgery. The person could also experience sudden internal bleeding in the joints, organs, and muscles. Hemophilia A is caused by a lack or decrease of clotting factor VIII while Hemophilia B is caused due to a lack or decrease of clotting factor IX. Most types of hemophilia are inherited, and can be caused by a change in one of the genes that provide instructions for making the clotting factor proteins. Male babies can get hemophilia if their X chromosome has a gene change, while female babies can get hemophilia due to changes in both of their X chromosomes, or their one X chromosome may have a gene change while the other X chromosome can in inactive or missing.

Precautions for lowering the possibility of birth defects
To lower the possibility of birth defects in your child, eat a healthy diet, stop smoking, and control any existing medical problem, like diabetes or high blood pressure. Avoid exposure to alcohol, smoking and drugs during pregnancy, and also to harmful substances like pesticides, lead and radiation. Taking prenatal vitamins, as prescribed by your caregiver, will ensure the supply of necessary nutrients and vitamins to the fetus.

Diagnosis and treatment
Getting vaccinated against certain infections can prevent birth defects, and not drinking during pregnancy can also prevent birth defects due to alcohol. Taking prenatal vitamins can help prevent neural tube defects. Many birth defects can be diagnosed before birth, like Chromosome problems can be diagnosed by looking at cells in the amniotic fluid or from the placenta. Fetal ultrasound during pregnancy can also show the possibility of certain birth defects.

Treatment for birth defects will depend on your child’s symptoms, age and general health, and how severe the condition is. Some children may benefit from physical or occupational therapy, medicines, and surgery.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *