Understanding Birth Defects

Understanding Birth Defects

Birth defects occur in 1 in 33 babies. These disabilities can be structural defects, like cleft lips and spina bifida, or genetic defects like Tay-Sachs Disease. They may be caused by gene mutation or environmental factors, like FAS.

Featured Videos

Dental Fluorosis

Dental Fluorosis can start from an early age. The initial signs are quite minimal, but they may result in white speckled teeth. Find out more about this here.

Early Signs Of Autism

Learn how to spot the red flags that may indicate an autism spectrum disorder. The sooner a child is diagnosed with the disorder, the sooner treatment can begin. Watch this video to learn about the typical symptoms.

What Is Fluoride?

Health care professionals, and even local politicians, have been arguing over fluoride's virtues and vices for decades. So what's the debate all about? Here's a quick run down of the different points of view in the great fluoride debate.

Baby Health Insurance

Whether you have a vaginal delivery or a cesarean section, your health care costs will rise from the moment your infant arrives. Luckily, baby health care (every check up and vaccine) can be covered by health insurance if you know how to obtain it.

Newborn Health Issues

During the first two weeks of infancy, your newborn may lose his umbilical cord stump and begin developing eye color.  Some babies also suffer from cradle cap or jaundice.  See what's happening with your baby's health in the first two weeks.

Birth Defects from Maternal Infection

A congenital disease, like brain damage or cerebral palsy, can be passed from mother to baby via an infection. These birth defects are from transmission which can happen during vaginal delivery, as with herpes, or in utero, like with rubella.

Raising Autism Awareness Part 2: Chance, A Twin with Autism

Meet twin brothers Chad, who is on a normal development track, and Chance, who displays many of the early symptoms of autism. In this video, you'll see him exhibiting signs of Autism Spectrum Disorder.

Premature Babies Week By Week

A baby born before week 37 is premature. Premature babies often have low birth weight, and are at some risk for health problems like mental disability and undeveloped organs. However, the closer an infant is born to his due date, the lower the risks.

Understanding Sudden Infant Death Syndrome

Sudden infant death syndrome is the biggest cause of infant death in the U.S. But SIDS statistics aside, why does this condition occur? And how can you prevent sudden infant death?

Premature Baby Development

Premature babies hit their developmental milestones at a different rate than full-term newborns. Our guide to preemie development gives you insight into when your premature infant may crawl, walk, speak, develop certain cognitive skills and more!

Common Medical Problems in Preemies

Premature babies often stay in the NICU with various medical problems. Some of them, like jaundice and anemia, are relatively mild, while others, like respiratory distress syndrome (RDS) and intraventricular hemorrhage (IVH) can be much more serious.

Prenatal Testing for Birth Defects

To gauge whether your fetus may have a birth defect, you can have prenatal testing. Most commonly, a Nuchal Translucency Test or amniocentesis procedure can look for chromosomal abnormalities-like Down syndrome and trisomy 18-in a fetus.

Infant Medication

At some point, every baby will get sick and need medicine. Giving an infant medication usually requires an oral syringe, careful dosage and a lot of patience! Here, how to administer baby medication.

Chromosomal Birth Defects

Some birth defects are due to chromosomal abnormalities in a baby. These include trisomy abnormalities like Down syndrome, and monosomy ones like Turner's syndrome. They also encompass X chromosome and Y chromosome problems, like hemophilia.

Down Syndrome

Down syndrome is a birth defect caused by chromosomal abnormalities. You may choose to test for this before your baby is even born, using chorionic villus sampling (CVS), amniocentesis, or a nuchal translucency test (NT).

How to Prevent Birth Defects

If you're pregnant, you may wonder if you can prevent birth defects. Although there is no way to guarantee that your infant will be born without a birth defect, there are things you can do, like taking folic acid and getting all your vaccinations.

Genetic Birth Defects

From sickle cell anemia to dwarfism, many birth defects are due to gene mutation. To understand genetic defects, it helps to have an idea of dominant genes, recessive genes and how they are passed from parent to baby.

Screening for Birth Defects

Some birth defects-like Down syndrome and dwarfism-are evident at birth. Others-like PKU, sickle cell anemia and congenital hypothyroidism-can't be detected without a blood test. This newborn screening for disorders is normal for every baby.