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Birth Defects

A birth defect is a problem that occurs when a baby is developing in utero (in the womb). While still in the womb, some babies have problems with how their organs and body parts form, how they work, or how their bodies turn food into energy. These health problems are called birth defects.

There are more than 4,000 different kinds of birth defects, ranging from minor ones that need no treatment to serious ones that cause disabilities or require medical or surgical treatment. According to the March of Dimes, 1 out of every 33 babies born each year in the United States has a birth defect.

Birth defects can be minor or severe. They may affect appearance, organ function, or physical or mental development. Most birth defects are present within the first three months of pregnancy, when the organs are still forming. Some birth defects are harmless, while others require long-term medical treatment, some may be fatal. Severe birth defects are the leading cause of infant death in the United States, accounting for 20 percent of deaths.

If a baby is born with a part of the body that is missing or malformed, it is called a structural birth defect. Heart defects are the most common type of structural defect. Others include spina bifida, cleft palate, clubfoot, and congenital dislocated hip.

When there is a problem with a baby’s body chemistry, it is called a metabolic birth defect. Metabolic defects prevent the body from properly breaking down food to create energy. Examples of metabolic defects include Tay-Sachs disease, a fatal disease that affects the central nervous system, and phenylketonuria (PKU), which affects the way the body processes protein.

For people who want to become parents, it’s important to know that some birth defects can be prevented. During a woman’s pregnancy, taking folic acid and getting enough iodine in the diet can help prevent some types of birth defects. But it’s also important to realize that most babies born with birth defects are born to two healthy parents with no obvious health problems or risk factors.

Researchers have identified thousands of different birth defects. Currently, birth defects are the leading cause of death for infants during the first year of life.

 

Types of Birth Defects Research and Tracking of Birth Defects
Causes of Birth Defects Prevention of Birth Defects
Diagnosis of Birth Defects Why are Birth Defects a concern

 

 


 

References:

http://www.healthline.com/health/birth-defects#Overview1

http://www.parents.com/baby/health/birth-defects/birth-defects-symptoms-treatments/

http://kidshealth.org/en/parents/birth-defects.html

http://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/birthdefects/facts.html

http://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/birthdefects/prevention.html

http://www.cdc.gov/pregnancy/infections.html

http://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/birthdefects/diagnosis.html

http://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/birthdefects/research.html

http://www.medicinenet.com/birth_defects/article.htm

https://childrensnational.org/choose-childrens/conditions-and-treatments/genetic-disorders-and-birth-defects/birth-defects


 

Disclaimer:

Doctoryouneed is committed to provide you with the most relevant and current information.
This material does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients, or recommend therapy and not a substitute for any medical advice. Always consult with your health professional  for medical advice and your doctor or pharmacist before taking any prescription drugs, vitamins, herbs, supplements and over-the-counter drugs.

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