A birth defect is a term which is referred to the abnormalities of structure, function, and body metabolism which are present at the baby birth. Common birth defects is a problem which happens while the baby is developing in the mother’s body and the birth defects are developed mostly during the first three months of the pregnancy.

The birth defect can be found at the birth, before birth or any time after the child’s birth but the defects can be discovered during the first year of the child’s life and the diagnosis can be made which is based on the type of the defect. Some birth defects can be found easily and some can be diagnosed under special tests such as x-ray, scan or hearing tests. The birth defects get vary from mild to severe and in some cases, the birth defects lead to the death of the baby.

Common Birth Defects

The birth defects can be caused by genetic, environmental, or other unknown factors. There are some common birth defects such as

  • Infectious
  • Metabolic

Birth Defects Infectious

The infectious birth defects are the one which occurs when the mother gets an infection before or during the pregnancy. The infectious birth defects are caused by the following infections

  • Rubell
  • Cytomegalovirus
  • Syphilis
  • Toxoplasmosis
  • Venezuelan
  • Equine encephalitis
  • Parvovirus
  • HIV

Rubella is the major factor which develops birth defects if the mother is infected during the early pregnancy and chickenpox is a very rare factor which causes birth defects.

Most Common Birth Defects

Mostly the pregnant women worry about the birth defects and there are some most common factors which cause birth defect. Some of the most common birth defects are as follows

  • Congenital heart disease
  • Cleft lip
  • Cleft palate
  • Down syndrome

Congenital Heart Disease

The heart of the baby will form in the early parts of the pregnancy, in other words, the heart will form before the mother knows she is pregnant and in the very first week of the pregnancy. The toxins, chemicals and other environmental exposures can cause the congenital heart disease for the baby before birth.

Cleft Lip and Palate

Cleft lip and palate are the most common birth defects which are caused by genetic, environmental or poor health. The cleft lip and palate are formed during the first three months of the fetal development of the baby and will develop separately. During the normal development the lip and mouth will close and start to develop properly but the failure of the cleft close will lead to cleft lip and palate defect.

Down Syndrome

This is one of the most common birth defects which is caused by an extra chromosome that leads to distinctive facial features, physical characteristics, and cognitive impairments.

Facts about Birth Defects

Birth defects occur in one out of 33 babies in the United States and there are several facts to know more about the disease. Some of the facts of birth defect are

  • The age of the pregnant women plays an important role in the birth defect and if the women are above 35 years of age during her pregnancy have a higher risk of having a child with a birth defect.
  • Certain drugs which the women intake during her pregnancy also causes birth defect
  • The women who smoke and consume alcohol while she is pregnant is the major cause of birth defect
  • The genetic reason which means that any of the family members of the mother had similar defect earlier
  • The genetic is the high-risk factor which causes birth defect even though the mother is healthy in both physically and mentally. The genes play an important role to tell the cells in the body how to merge with other cells in the body to form a part.  Genes merge with many other genes to form chromosomes but when a single gene or group of genes had a change then it will lead to a definite birth defect. To avoid the birth defect which is caused by genetic risk the women should consult with the genetic counselor.

Birth Defects

What are the Factors which Cause Birth Defect?

There are several causes of birth defects but the three main categories are

  • Chromosomal Abnormalities
  • Single gene defects
  • Multifactorial influences

Chromosomal Abnormalities

During the nuclear events of fertilization, the genetic causes of many cases are determined that means the chromosomal abnormalities can become clear during the fertilization. The chromosomal abnormalities will occur for 1 in 800 babies and the risk of having a baby with chromosomal abnormalities is when the age of the women is 35 and above during pregnancy.

Single Gene Defects

The Phenylketonuria is the category of single gene defect which is caused by the failure of PAH enzyme which breaks the amino acid phenylalanine. The single gene defect is variably common among different racial and groups and these defects can be found in the children who die during the first year after the birth.

Multifactorial Influences

The cause for the Multifactorial influences which causes birth defect are unknown but in certain cases, a combination of genetic mutation leads to Multifactorial influences. The above three are the major cause of birth defects but the main and major cause is the environmental factors such as smoking and certain drugs which leads to birth defects.

When in Pregnancy do Common Birth Defects happen?

Common Birth defects are the disease which occurs in babies before a baby is born and the defects may cause several environmental and genetic factors. The woman who does not consume enough folic acid during her pregnancy leads to the higher risk of birth defects. The mother’s illness during pregnancy is also a major factor which leads to the development of birth defect.

Most of the common birth defects happen during the first three months of the pregnancy as this is the period when the organs of the baby will form and this is the most important period in the children grow. But some birth defects may happen during the later period of the pregnancy and during the last six months of the pregnancy the tissues of the child will grow and develop properly. The stages of pregnancy in which birth defect will happen are not common for all children and it gets vary according to the environment and the health of the mother.

When a child has been born with common birth defects that weren’t properly addressed and treated they can have a lifelong health issue. Failure to spot this is medical negligence.

Farah Ashfaq
About Farah Ashfaq:

I’m Farah, Software Engineer by profession and lover of world cultures, languages, souls, food, oceans, wild spaces and urban places by nature.
Good communication, very quick turnaround time and worked with a challenging technical piece of writing. I love all things creative, colorful and DIY, and would love the opportunity to be involved in a project in those fields.

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