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A Quick Guide To Birth Defects

We all hope that a pregnancy will go smoothly from start to finish. All of them would end with a perfect, healthy baby in a perfect world. Unfortunately, creating a new baby is a complex process, and our body doesn’t always get it right. A simple alteration in a gene, an extra chromosome, or other abnormality can lead to complications. Malformations like these are known as birth defects, and over 100,000 babies are born with them each year. While finding out your growing baby has a birth defect can be devastating, it helps to know more about them.

The Nature Of Birth Defects

The technical term for a birth defect is a congenital disorder, also known as a congenital malformation. These terms describe unusual changes that happen during your baby’s gestation and are present when the baby is born. According to statistics from the CDC, these defects impact approximately 3% of all children born in the United States.

There are three common classifications for birth defects:

  • Structural
  • Genetica
  • Chromosomal

Borth genetic and chromosomal birth defects are generally considered to be developmental. The real impact doesn’t start to affect your child until they enter their infant years. These disorders often impact how your child thinks, learns, walks, talks, or some aspect of how their body functions.

The majority of all defects occur during your first three months or first trimester. In most cases, they first start to appear in weeks 5-12. This is an important developmental point in your child’s gestation. If the limbs are going to be impacted by a defect, this will make itself known sometime during the second month. This is also when it’s possible to notice issues with the neural tube, such as spinal Bifida. Heart concerns will also become apparent, as your child’s heart should be fully developed at eight weeks.

As the first trimester comes to a close, reproductive organs begin to develop. This is when a birth defect to the penis, such as hypospadias occurs. Below is a list of the most frequently seen birth defects:

  • Congenital Heart Defects – These appear in one out of every 110 births in the united states. These defects include any structural issue with the heart that impacts its function.
  • Hypospadias – These appear in one out of every 200 births and only affect male children. Hypospadias is when the urethra opening develops on the underside of the penis. This is reparable but generally requires surgery to correct.
  • Ventricular Septal Defect – This type of defect occurs in one out of every 240 births. It is also known as a ‘hole in the heart .’ This is the most common type of heart defect and occurs in the wall between the heart’s two lower chambers or ventricles. Depending on their size, these can close on their own or may require surgery.

While there are hundreds of potential kinds of birth defects, these are among the most common ones.

Speak to Your Women’s Health Care Provider To Learn More

If you want to be prepared for any possible birth defect, you can speak with your women’s health care provider. They’ll be able to let you know what the risks are, what types of birth defects occur, and how likely you may be to have your baby develop one. Call for a consultation today.

In service in Montgomery since 1987, Capital Women’s Care in Rockville, MD is part of an expansive network of clinics providing women’s health care in Washington D.C., Maryland, Virginia, and Delaware. Our patients get the benefit of an immense amount of experience provided by some of the most respected women’s healthcare providers in the area.

In service in Montgomery since 1987, Capital Women’s Care in Rockville, MD is part of an expansive network of clinics providing women’s health care in Washington D.C., Maryland, Virginia, and Delaware. Our patients get the benefit of an immense amount of experience provided by some of the most respected women’s healthcare providers in the area.
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