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What Are Birth Defects?

What Are Birth Defects?

A birth defect is considered to be a problem that occurs when the fetus is developing inside the mother’s womb. About 1 in every 33 infants is known to suffer from birth defects in the United States.

Birth defects can be severe or minor in nature. They might affect organ function, appearance, mental development, or physical development. Most of the birth defects can be seen in the first three months when the body organs are developing. Some of the birth defects are harmless in nature, whereas others may require long-term medical treatment. Birth defects account for 20 percent of the infant death in the U.S.

Visit the best maternity hospital in your city to get your unborn baby checked for birth defects.

Causes of Birth Defects
Here are several causes of birth defects. They vary from one person to the other. They are;

  • Genetics
  • Infections while being pregnant
  • Exposure to chemicals or medications
  • Unhealthy behaviors and lifestyle choices
  • Combination of all the above factors

The researchers have not been able to pinpoint the exact causes of some specific birth defects.
Sometimes, genetic abnormalities may pass from either of the parent. These abnormalities can be a result of mutation. At times, a part of a specific gene may be missing. These defects are seems during conception. The birth defects resulting from non-genetic causes are not possible to identify. They include using illegal drugs, consuming alcohol, and smoking while pregnant. The best pediatric hospitals help in teaching you ways of dealing with birth defects.

Risk Factors of Birth Defects

There is always a risk of giving birth to a baby with the birth defect. The risk can be increased in the following conditions:

  • Inadequate prenatal care
  • Family history of genetic disorders or birth defects
  • Alcohol consumption, smoking, and drug use while pregnant
  • Maternal age is above 35 years
  • Untreated bacterial or viral infections, like sexually transmitted infections
  • Using high-risk medications, like lithium and isotretinoin

Women who have pre-existing medical diseases, like diabetes, also have a higher chance of delivering a baby having a birth defect.