Understanding The Causes Behind A Rise In Birth Defects
By Features Desk
Sunday, June 19, 2016.
Birth defects are something that all expectant parents fear. Despite the numerous scans, medical professionals aren’t able to guarantee any child will be born birth defect free. For many expectant parents, birth defects are a real concern. A lot of people worry that should their baby be born with an abnormality, they won’t be able to cope.
Research has shown that in the space of just four years, birth defects has risen by almost 50 percent. A study produced in the UK found that one in every 16 babies is born with a birth defect. That equates to around 45,000 babies a year - the average of 124 a day, is born with a birth defect. That’s an incredibly high number of children in just one country being born with birth defects.
Birth defects range in severity from conditions like spina bifida and cleft palates to sizeable birthmarks. Many birth defects are minor and have a small impact on a child’s and its parents’ lives, but others are more severe and have a significant impact. While some defects are physical others affect mental development, each defect is different. In some cases, they can even lead to infant or childhood death, depending on how severe they are.
The causes of birth defects are incredibly varied, and it’s not always possible to be sure of what the exact cause of the defect was. The most common causes are genetics, smoking, and drinking while pregnant. As well as exposure to certain drugs, and taking part in certain activities.
Genetic causes are due to a fault gene being passed on from the parents. This is something that in most cases can’t be prevented. However, genetic testing for certain conditions like Down Syndrome are available.
One of the most common causes of birth defects are drinking and smoking. Even parents who don’t drink and smoke while pregnant are still prone to them. You see, doctors recommend that these substances are given up at least three months before trying to get pregnant. Doing this helps to ensure that there is no of these substances in the body and lowers the risk of birth defects.
Another, rarer cause of birth defects is taking medical drugs that can be harmful to the unborn baby. Although it’s rare, doctors can make a mistake in prescribing medicines for expectant parents. Sometimes, if these contain high rates of a dangerous chemical for pregnant women, they can lead to birth defects.
In this case, if it can be proven the medicine was the most likely cause of the defects, it’s worth consulting a bad drug lawyer to make a claim. A lot of parents of children born with birth defects opt to do this, as it helps to cover the costs of any medical care their child may need.
It’s also been suggested that IVF can increase the chances of a child being born with abnormalities.
Over the past few years, the rate of birth defects have risen across the globe. There isn’t one cause that’s responsible for this; it’s due to a range of factors.
Image by the NHS, UK.