Gina & Al
Our fairy tale ending! Our dreams of adopting were beginning to seem elusive after more than a year of searching for our angel, so when our adoption phone rang in late April--a week before our Parent Profile subscription was due to expire--our hearts were hopeful that our dreams might finally be coming true. Sure enough, on April 24 at 3:24 PM, our miracle arrived with the birth of our beautiful son, James Anthony. Now our more ...
It is normal for a pregnant woman to worry about birth defects in her baby. Sometimes the potential dangers are overwhelming. Most birth defects, however, are very rare or so insignificant that they are not even noticeable. Only 3% of all babies are born with birth defects, so it is a concern, but you should avoid obsessing over it. The causes of most birth defects are not known.
Hello there! Thanks for getting to know us! We're Rick and Becky, a family of two full of love and laughter. We cannot wait to give the best life we possibly can give to our future child. We would love to speak with you! Let's get to know each other! :)
When you visit your doctor, share with her your worries about birth defects. With modern technology, you can be screened for many common birth defects. Ultrasound, amniocentesis, blood tests, and CVS are just some ways you might be tested.
If you have a family history of any particular condition, be sure to mention it, since quite a few defects are inherited. If you have a family history of any birth defects, you may choose to see a genetic counselor who can help you sort through all the information at your disposal about your risks, ways to prevent the defect, or options to terminate the pregnancy should the defect be life threatening.
About one-third to one-fourth of all birth defects are related to the heart. Another common category of birth defects occurs in the brain and spine, such as spina bifida. Cleft lip and cleft palate are also among the more common birth defects. Developmental disabilities are another category of problems you might worry about. These include things like autism, hearing loss, cerebral palsy, mental retardation, vision problems, and the like. Chromosomal disorders include Down syndrome, fragile X syndrome, Turner syndrome, Triple X, and others which may not be severe at all.
Some birth defects can be dealt with in utero or shortly after birth. For example, congenital heart defects often can be surgically treated after birth. Cleft lip and cleft palate are easily reparable. On the other hand, some birth defects have no known treatment.
Not all birth defects are apparent at birth. For example, cystic fibrosis, Tay-Sachs disease, and sickle cell disease can appear six months to four years after birth.
Because many birth defects occur in utero during critical moments of development, usually in the first three months of pregnancy, the most important way you can help prevent birth defects in your baby is to take good care of yourself. Take the vitamins your doctor prescribes, especially folic acid. Get plenty of rest, avoid all drugs, smoking, and alcohol. Get regular prenatal care as soon as you know you are pregnant.
Take the time to educate yourself about possible birth defects, but do not worry about them unless your doctor indicates a problem. Most babies are born perfectly healthy, if not perfect. Some things that are considered birth defects, such as birth marks or missing adult teeth, will not hamper your childâ€™s life.