The main causes of birth defects are not yet known to doctors. But you will be able to know if your child has a problem before or after birth. Some conditions are hard to see at first glance, which is why the baby will have some further tests. For other conditions, you will be able to see the birth problems right away.
1. Possible causes
The role of a gene is to carry the traits of the parents to the baby. If there are any problems in the parent’s genes, they can pass them on to their child.
A mother’s role when she is pregnant is very important. If you are a soon to be mother, be aware of how you take care of yourself. Also, it is good to avoid smoking and taking street drugs. Only eat healthy foods that will help your body. Avoid activities and foods you know that will harm you and your child.
Chemicals and Medications
One must not take medicines without consulting your doctor because some medicines can harm your baby. Do not use harmful chemicals, like strong cleaning agents.
Infections through sex is the most common type of infection. Some infections are urinary tract infections and viruses from mosquitoes. Before you plan to have a child, visit your doctor and get checked for some infections. However, if the results turn negative, then you can go on with your plans. Do not get pregnant when you still have any of these infections because it might put your child in danger.
2. Common Birth Problems
A cleft lip happened during pregnancy when the baby’s lip was not formed. A child with this problem has an opening in the upper lip. The opening may be a small or a large opening that goes from the lip into the nose. Also, it can happen on both or one of the sides of the lip. It can also happen in the middle lip, but it is not common.
Moreover, it is a type of condition where the baby’s foot is pointing inwards, and the soles of the feet face each other. The shape of the foot is different, and there is a tightening in the tendons. When this condition is not treated right away, the baby might walk using ankles or the sides of his/her feet. A baby with a clubfoot does not feel any pain when walking. You can see right away after birth if your baby has this kind of problem. Sometimes, even before the child is born, the doctor can already see the condition.
Heart problems present at birth can affect the structure of a baby’s heart and how it works. Treatments are already available for this condition. Some babies who were born with heart problems survived and reached adulthood. If your baby has blue-colored nails or lips and fast breathing, your baby may have this condition. You must tell your doctor right away so the doctor can run some tests on your baby.
Neural Tube Defects
Neural tube defects are problems of the brain, spine, spinal cord. These problems happen even before the mother knows she is pregnant. Spina bifida and anencephaly are the two most common neural tube defects.
Moreover, Spina bifida is a condition that affects the spine, while anencephaly is a defect in the brain. The problem in the spine might affect physical and mental development. The seriousness of this condition depends on the opening in the spine and the areas affected. The treatment of this condition depends on every child.
Anencephaly is a serious birth defect because a baby is born without parts of the brain and skull. Only a few numbers of babies with this condition survive. The mother needs to take folic acid before and during pregnancy to prevent it.
It is a condition where the baby has an extra number of chromosomes. This extra chromosome changes the baby’s body and brain development. That will result in physical and mental changes in the baby.
Sickle Cell Disease
Furthermore, it is an inherited disease of the red blood cells. A normal red blood cell has a disc shape. But when you have sickle cell disease, some of your red blood cells are crescent moon-shaped, making it hard for these red blood cells to carry oxygen to the body.
It is a condition where the production of mucus is not normal. When the body keeps on producing thick and sticky mucus, it can clog the lungs and pancreas. Children with this problem have a shorter life-span.
There are many ways to diagnose these birth defects. Hence, if you are pregnant, your doctor or nurse will do a prenatal ultrasound screening. It is to see if there are any damages in your uterus. Blood tests and taking a sample of amniotic fluid will help to see possible birth problems.
When you are pregnant, push yourself to have a prenatal check-up for you to know if you will be a healthy mother. Through prenatal check-ups, you would know if you have any infections that might harm the baby.
Treating defects is possible in some cases, using medications and surgeries. A mother will be taking a medication that helps in correcting the defect before the child is born. Surgery can fix and ease some conditions like cleft lip. A child with a cleft lip may have plastic surgery to fix it. Babies with heart problems will also need heart surgery.
Some parents are being taught how to take care of their child with a birth problem. Children who have these conditions need a special kind of attention and care.
Researchers and doctors are studying hard to find concrete treatment for these conditions. A lot of babies die because of these problems. If you are planning to get pregnant, get yourself checked regularly. If you are already pregnant, keep your baby healthy.