When an abnormal condition occurs during a pregnancy or at birth, that is what’s called a birth defect. They can range from mild conditions to ones that can prove to be life threatening.
Why they happen is often a mystery — about 70 percent of birth defects happen for an unknown reason (source). Some, however, are easier to trace and can be caused by genetics, medicines, and drugs.
Drugs or other traceable reasons, like poor nutrition, are believed to cause around 10 percent of birth defects. Genetics, such as chromosomal and inherited issues, cause the remaining 20 percent of birth defects.
Education is Key:
Investigating and learning more about birth defects is important because they cause more fatalities in children under the age of 1 than anything else does. Every day, an average of 18 babies die from birth defects.
Far more suffer from birth defects than that though. For every 33 babies born, one will have a birth defect (source). That amounts to a staggering 150,000 children each year who will be born facing the challenge of birth defects.
Major birth defects that reveal themselves at birth are fairly rare, at about 3 percent of births in the U.S. Many other birth defects are discovered as time passes — they aren’t always apparent at birth.
Although it’s definitely not as much of a concern as the health and well-being of children, birth defects also end up costing parents a lot of money. Each year, more than $1.4 billion is spent on medical care for children because of their birth defects.
What makes birth defects even more heartbreaking is the fact that some of them are preventable just from what we already know about them. If all pregnant women were to get proper prenatal care, a quarter of infant deaths could be avoided.
Every year, up to 1.3 million pregnant women get inadequate prenatal care. Pregnant women with uncomplicated pregnancies should visit their obstetrician anywhere from 10 to 15 times for prenatal visits (source).
When To Go:
You should call for that first appointment as soon as you realize you are pregnant, even though the doctor may still wait until closer to your 12th week of pregnancy before seeing you if everything seems to be going well and you have no underlying health issues.
Women avoid those crucial prenatal care visits for a variety of reasons, including the prohibitive cost of medical appointments, the inability to take days off of work, and sometimes even the lack of seeing the importance or need for those appointments.
In addition to that, educating women about the dangers of alcohol or taking drugs during pregnancy could also prevent a lot of birth defects.
Find out more about congenital disorder awareness & prevention on momlovesbest.com