Expectant parents understandably want their child to be born healthy, but the unfortunate reality is that approximately three out of every 100 children born in the United States may have a birth defect of some kind. Some birth defects are more serious than others, and many can be treated in various ways. Before and after the birth of your child, you may work with a physician to determine if your child may be affected by one of these common birth defects.
Congenital Heart Defects
For serious congenital heart defects, signs may be picked up on an ultrasound or with a fetal heart monitor. Symptoms may also be detected shortly after birth. For minor defects, the issue may go undetected for months or years. Symptoms may include rapid breathing, swollen limbs and more. Children with serious defects may require one or multiple surgeries.
Port Wine Stains
A port wine stain is caused by a collection of fine blood vessels close to the surface of the skin in an abnormal way. This is more than a cosmetic issue, and it can potentially lead to neurological issues, glaucoma and more. One of the more common ways to treat this condition is through laser therapy. Those who have this procedure completed earlier in life may enjoy better results.
Downs syndrome is a chromosomal abnormality. While it is most common when the mother is older in age, it can occur in any pregnancy. Children with this condition may have an abnormal facial structure, and they also could face numerous health problems. These include heart issues, intestinal problems, hearing issues and more. There is no cure or treatment for this birth defect.
Cleft Lip or Palate
A cleft lip or palate is a birth defect that is characterized by a notch in the cleft palate or upper lip. This could potentially cause speech and feeding issues. Surgery can be performed on the child within the first year of life to improve the condition. In most cases, the signs and symptoms of this birth defect can be made negligible or even entirely eliminated through a surgery early in life.
It can be emotionally difficult for a parent to discover that his or her child has a birth defect. While some defects are more serious than others, you can see that there are effective treatment options for many conditions. Take time to explore the signs and symptoms of different conditions, and speak with your doctor about strategic ways to address any birth defects affecting your little one.