birth defects in babies
birth defects in babies are often picked up upon in an ultrasound image. Nowadays more are operable compared to years ago. In shock at the thought of your beautiful baby having to have surgery ? some operations such as a cleft lip is repairable and practically no scar can be seen years later.
so what type of birth defects can be seen in a baby?
The “birth defect” is a general medical term used to describe an abnormality or anomaly which a baby bears since his birth. The first 3 months of pregnancy is very crucial as all body structures of a baby are developed in this timespan. Any complication that arises during these months will result in birth defects of babies. Birth defects in babies can either be visible or internal, may appear either at the time of birth or after 1 or 2 years of the birth. Based on anatomical features of the body, healthcare professionals classified them as Physical (missing of a limb), structural (cleft palate) and mental birth defects (neural tube impairment).
Some birth defects are harmless and don’t lead to any disability in future. Yet some birth defects are severe and can result in permanent disability or even death in some cases. The stats published by the Child Health Institute of Great Ormond Hospital, London shows that every day 1 out of 45 babies is born with different birth defects in the UK. Birth defects are the leading cause of infant’s death in the UK as it constitutes the 20% of the death count.
common birth defects causes and outcomes
Cleft Lip or Palate
Cleft lip or palate is an anatomical birth defect that arises in 1 out of 700 new born babies around the world. In this birth defect, either the lip of the baby can’t able to fuse with maxilla bone, or palate bones can’t able to fuse properly which results in the formation of a hole in the roof of the month.
Outcomes: The baby with a cleft palate feels difficulty in sucking and feeding and require a specific posture for feeding. Babies with cleft lips are prone to different nasal and infections. Such babies also show difficulty in speaking and pronunciation of words.
Causes: Environmental and genetic factors are combinedly responsible for this birth defect. Babies having Asian genetic makeup have higher chances to show this birth defect.
Treatment: Both Cleft lip and palate can be handled in the later life of babies via surgical procedures. A surgical procedure can perform on a healthy baby of 3 months for treating cleft lip. While for Cleft palate, the minimum age requires is 12 months as Cleft palate requires healing and face adjustment.
Sickle Cell Anemia
Sickle Cell Anemia belongs to the class of biochemical birth defect which arises in 1 out of 625 births around the world. Haemoglobin, a globular protein that is responsible for the red colour of blood as well as oxygen-carrying capacity in normal human beings. But in this birth defect, the Hemoglobin protein becomes Sickle shape due to which its Oxygen carrying capacity gets low.
Outcomes: Due to the sickle shape of Hemoglobin, RBCs can’t able to pass through blood vessels or organs like the liver and spleen and get destroyed. Due to which the baby will exhibit apnea, yellowish skin, and get tired easily. Due to the blockage of Oxygen supply, cells start to die which affect many vital organs.
Causes: Sickle cell anemia majorly arises due to genetic abnormalities and in some cases, due to physiological factors.
Treatment: Anemia due to liver disease or physiological reasons can be treated, but it is impossible to treat genetically caused anemia.
This neurological birth defect arises in babies due to failure or malformation of the neural tube during fetal growth. Every 1 out of 2000 babies is born with Spina Bifida in the world.
Outcomes: In less severe cases, spina bifida is harmless and the baby functions and grow normally. While in mild to severe cases, babies with Spina bifida have leg paralysis and can’t able to walk. Bladder control and bowel movements are also affected in these babies.
Causes: The exact cause is unknown yet, but it is doubted that nutritional deficiencies along with genetic factors are the main reasons.
Treatment: There is no treatment available for Spina bifida. Healthcare professionals advise regular check-ups during pregnancy to avoid any anomaly. Babies with Spina Bifida have to use crutches or wheelchairs for upcoming life depends upon the severity.