Most babies are born perfectly healthy. But for some newborns, certain substances essential to proper body functioning are either abnormal or completely absent. Without intervention, some of these deficiencies can be devastating -- affecting a variety of bodily systems.
A child born with a biochemical birth defect requires a great deal of parental work to ensure her long-term health. Be assertive and ask your baby's pediatrician lots of questions so you can learn everything there is to know about your little one's condition. In addition to appointments with specialists, you should also keep up with regularly scheduled well-baby visits, because many complications can be treated through early detection and intervention.
If the abnormality is the result of an inherited disorder, you may also want to see a genetic counselor, who can assess the probability of a recurrence in your subsequent pregnancies and, further in the future, any potential problems with your children's pregnancies.
The following pages include essential information about biochemical birth defects and the impact they may have on you and your baby.