Lisa M Cannon – 10 Things You Need to Know About Birth Defects
If you are expecting or planning to start a family then one area which you should pay attention to are brith defects. Each year thousands of children are born with brith defects and as an expecting parent it is something which you need to make sure that you are educated on. For this reason we spoke to specialist Lisa M Cannon, to find out what the 10 things are that you need to know about this.
They Are Common
Birth defects in the USA alone affect 1 in every 33 babies. This may not seem like a lot on the face of it but it is higher than we would like it to be.
A Family History
Of the 1 in 33 that are affected by birth defects the majority have no family history of that particular disease or affliction.
Birth defects account for almost 140,000 hospital stays a year for diagnosis and treatment and the estimated cost of this is around $2.6 billion. This means that both families and hospitals will foot the bill for the amount of time spent in hospitals.
Some birth defects may not have much bearing on the child’s health but in many cases they can be very severe. We know that 1 in every 5 deaths of babies in their first year of life are caused by defects and for many who survive past year one, their lives are greatly affected by the defect.
There are steps that women can take during pregnancy and one of those is to take folic acid, around 400 mg daily. Folic acid helps the baby’s brain and spine to develop and can reduce the risk of certain defects.
Many defects that are found are actually not discovered until after the baby has left the hospital. Defects such as spina bifida and cleft lips are of course easy to spot but any will not be found until a later date.
Thanks to advancing technology there are many defects such as heart problems and Down syndrome which can actually be spotted before the parent gives birth, this can help families to prepare for the future.
Range of Factors
It is not just genetics which can cause birth defects and there are in fact many variables. The behavior of the expecting mother, the surrounding environment plus genetics are the combination of factors that can cause defects.
There are steps which a mother can take ahead of the baby’s birth which can prevent defects such as avoiding cigarettes and drugs, as well as avoiding certain medicines or exposure to chemicals.
There is no safe amount of alcohol to drink during pregnancy which won’t have a large impact on the potential for a birth defect in your baby.
Babies are not protected from the outside world when they are in their mother’s womb as the placenta connects them to whatever the mother is exposed to.