Understanding Birth Defects
The vast majority of babies born in this country are healthy. But if your child is one of the 3 in 100 infants born with a congenital (acquired after conception) or hereditary birth defect, how can you ensure her long-term health?
While some defects are treatable with drugs or surgery, it's usually your family's efforts to create a positive environment for your child that help minimize the disability.
The first thing you should do if your child is diagnosed with a birth defect is get a second (or more) opinion. Start with your pediatrician or obstetrician, who can refer you to appropriate specialists. In addition to appointments with specialists, you should also keep up with regularly scheduled well-baby visits, because many birth defect complications can be treated through early detection and intervention.
Here are some of the most common birth defects in the U.S. and the impact they may have on your baby and you.