Common Birth Defects

All mothers want what is best for their children. Pregnant mothers take great precautions to make sure they are doing everything to ensure the health and safety of themselves and their unborn child. However, unfortunately complications occur and at times children are born with birth defects. When a baby is born with part of the body that is missing or malformed, it is a structural birth defect. It is important to be wary of the most common birth defects and the potential causes for them, so that mothers can know how best to prevent them.

The most common type of birth defects are heart defects. These result from incomplete or incorrect development of the fetus’s heart during the beginning weeks of the pregnancy. While this often cannot be prevented, there are many treatments available for this condition.

Another common birth defect is spina bifida. This results from a malformation of the baby’s spine. This occurs during the first month of pregnancy, when the spine is in development. This can be caused by low levels of folic acid in a woman during pregnancy. Folic acid is a vitamin that is vital to cell growth and tissue formation.

Another common birth defect is cleft palate, a malformation of the mouth. Cleft palates can sometimes be caused by and adverse reaction to a certain medication when consumed by pregnant mothers. For example, according to the website of Williams Kherkher, the medication Zofran has been linked to the development of cleft lip in the children of mothers who were prescribed the drug while pregnant. Zofran has additionally been linked to the development of cleft lip and congenital heart defects, and is among the medications not considered safe to prescribe to pregnant women for treatment of certain pregnancy complications, such as severe morning sickness.

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