Written by Editorial Team
Did you know that three out of 100 infants are born with some congenital or hereditary birth defect? It’s worrying, isn’t it? Some of these birth defects can be treated with medication surgery, but some can’t and remain lifelong. However, if the loved ones of the child give him or her a conducive and loving environment, it can help to reduce the effects of the ailment or disability.
But let’s first see what a birth defect is? A birth defect is some physical abnormality in the body, appearance, or functioning of some organs since the birth of the child. As per the statistics, two to three percent of babies usually have one or more birth defects. But at times, the defects are found or are evident after the child turns one, and thus this percentage increases to about five percent in children over one year.
In This Article
A birth defect is usually a very significant or obvious physical defect or some imbalance in the body of the infant. Some examples are:
Every case is different some children are born with one birth defect and others might be born with multiples like a cleft lip and palate or defects of organs like the brain or heart. But one might not be able to detect the birth defects at the time of the baby’s birth. For example, a malformed heart or kidney could be detected after years.
The most common birth defects are congenital heart defects. Around six in about 1,000 infants born are affected by it. About one in 700 infants are born with a cleft lip and around one in 800 babies have neural tube defects.
Common birth defects are:
At times, some birth defects can be found during pregnancy itself. But others are found after the child is born or after he/she grows up. Ultrasound scans can detect some birth defects. For example, the first ultrasound scan done around 8 to 14 weeks might detect some problems in the fetus.
The scan done between 18 to 21 weeks is termed the anomaly scan as the main purpose of this scan is to detect and check if there are any birth defects or anomalies in the fetus and how is its growth. At times, you might be asked to get more supporting scans and blood tests to confirm the results.
Then there’s a test called Amniocentesis, which detects birth defects at around 14 weeks of pregnancy. In this test, fluid is collected from around the fetus and is tested to confirm any disorders. This test is especially done to check for major defects such as Spina Bifida or Down’s Syndrome.
Regular blood tests done during the pregnancy can also highlight any issues the child may have. You may be at a higher risk if your family has a history of any such birth defects. In that case, you will be asked to get some other detailed tests done.
Following are some of the important signs of Down syndrome:
Following are some of the important signs of congenital heart defects:
Following are some of the important signs of cleft lip or palate:
Following are some of the important signs of Spina bifida:
But the fact remains that your bundle of joy needs your love even if he’s not blessed with a completely healthy body. A warm and caring environment can reduce the pain to a large extent for your little one and enhance his or her growth.
With a rich experience in pregnancy and parenting, our team of experts create insightful, well-curated, and easy-to-read content for our to-be-parents and parents at all stages of parenting.Read more.
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