Birth Defects, Birth Defect causes, Birth Defect in pregnancy

Birth defects are abnormalities that are present in a baby at birth. Some will be obvious at birth or soon after the baby is born. Others will not be easily detected and so may take weeks or even months to be identified. Around 2-3% of babies will have an abnormality of some sort. Most will be minor like a 'stork mark', a birthmark on the skin that can resolve spontaneously over months, but some will be more serious such as a cleft lip or palate, or a heart abnormality that may require surgery. Some abnormalities can be corrected and others can have long term consequences for the baby and the family.

Birth Defect causes

Each abnormality is different in terms of the implications for the baby and the treatment required. It is important to get the correct information about the baby's abnormality from the Doctors looking after the baby. Sometimes this information will not be available until the Doctor has carried out some tests to determine the extent of the problem. The parents of a baby with a serious abnormality will usually be shocked at first and often just cannot belief that their baby has a problem. Some will feel angry even though no one is to blame for the problem and everything possible is being done for the baby.

It is important to be able to talk about these feelings with partners, friends and relatives, the family Doctor or a counsellor. After the initial shock parents will usually reach a stage where they can cope with the problem and learn to live with any difficulties that it poses.

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