Lisa M Cannon is aware that birth defects are fairly common effecting over 3% of all babies throughout the US and these are the top ten things that you need to know about them. Sadly, one in five of babies born with a defect or defects will die within the first year of their life. Those who surpass the year may have life long illness and a much shorter life span than average. They may be prone to infections and movement learning and speech could all be very limited depending on the severity of their condition.

Very often there is no history of any condition in the family, but birth defects can have many causes. It is proven that folic acid in early pregnancy 400 micrograms daily, can help deter defects. Folic acid helps the baby’s brain and spinal chord to develop. It is especially important in the first month of pregnancy so being tested early for any possible chance of pregnancy can help in this way. Most birth defects are caused by a complicated mixture of reasons. It is sometimes genes and other times environmental factors. Using alcohol and drugs through pregnancy and some prescribed medicines can cause defects. Exposure to chemicals or some illnesses whilst you are pregnant are another set of reasons.

This is because the placenta, which as we know attaches the baby to the mother cannot be mega strong due to where it is. Therefore cigarettes, alcohol and drugs or medicines will not only affect the Mother, the baby will also feel the effects. The same is true of any illnesses that get into the Mothers bloodstream and the antibodies that will naturally set to fight it may also cause the baby some damage.  This is why it is also important to eat healthily through pregnancy and to share those healthy nutrients with the baby as well as ensuring that any illnesses that you have such as diabetes are also very well controlled throughout the pregnancy. Be good to yourself and be good to your baby.

It is quite common that a birth defect will not be diagnosed until a baby leaves the hospital and goes home. Most are found within the first year, they are thus often invisible to the eye, but not always.

Birth defects can be diagnosed pre-birth spina bifida, downs syndrome or hearing defects can all be tested for. Screening can help you make an informed decision before birth or to make changes to your lifestyle to incorporate a child with difficulties, as changes will be likely for any new child to enter into your family.

As there is no known safe amount to drink during pregnancy and this can cause a whole range of disorders known as foetal alcohol spectrum disorders, then it is recommended not to drink at all. This is especially important in the first three months of pregnancy. The disorders caused by drinking in pregnancy can include behaviour and life learning problems.