Birth defects are abnormalities that can affect the appearance, functioning of the organ, and physical and mental development of the child. These defects usually occur in first 3 months of pregnancy when organ development takes place. Some birth defects can be mild while some can create problems lifelong.
The causes of birth defects range from genetic disorders to lifestyle choices. Also, usage of several medications can also cause birth defects in the child.
All pregnant women are at a risk of delivering a child who may suffer from a birth defect. There are few conditions which increase the risk.
There are thousands of birth defects which affect the children and are broadly classified into structural or metabolic defects. Structural defects are the ones in which a body part is either missing or not formed properly. The most common birth defects are:
Metabolic defects are the ones in which there is a problem with the child’s genes or chromosomes. This includes Down syndrome, sickle cell disease, and cystic fibrosis.
While some children show the symptoms of birth defects in form of physical disabilities, there are many defects which are not detected for many months and sometimes even for years. The common symptoms include:
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