Most babies are born healthy in today’s modern world. However, still, 1 in 3 babies are born with some kind of defect; usually, congenital defects. Congenital defects refer to those acquired after conception or due to genetic problems.
If your baby has been diagnosed with some birth defect, don’t panic. Many birth defects are treatable with medicines and therapy; and, if not treatable, most birth defects can be easily managed throughout their life with some medicines.
If your baby has been diagnosed with a birth defect, here’s what you must do –
- Breathe and calm down. Understand that this happens and, in most situations, it can be treated and your baby’s healthy life can be ensured.
- Consult your obstetrician and pediatrician. Taking their opinion is very important since they are the ones that have dealt with your pregnancy and delivery.
- If you are not satisfied, consult a specialist. Also, don’t hesitate to get a second or third opinion since such defects may have a long-term effect on the baby’s health.
4 Common Birth Defects and Their Treatments
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There are a lot of birth defects that a baby might, unfortunately, have to suffer from. However, let us look at some of the most common defects and their treatment.
1. Congenital Heart Defects
It occurs in about 1 in 120 births and is a fairly common birth defect. Usually, it happens due to a genetic problem or a mistake made during fetal development. However, in most cases, it is nothing to be worried about as the symptoms may be so mild that they may have little to no effect on the baby’s health. A serious case of heart defect can lead to rapid heartbeat, difficulty in breathing, and weight problems. If serious, most cases of congenital heart defects can be eased through medicines, treatment, or devices like a pacemaker.
2. Underdeveloped (or, often missing) limbs
This, unfortunately, happens in the case of many births and there is no clear conclusion as to why it happens. Your doctor will recommend that you consult an orthopedic or a special therapist to explore the various options that can be considered. The baby can be fitted with a prosthetic as well if needed. If a prosthetic is considered, the baby will also have to attend many physical therapy sessions to learn how to use the prosthetic limb.
Clubfoot is a fairly common birth defect. It causes different types of ankle and foot abnormalities in the child. It is not clear why the condition occurs, however, most people believe that it is because of hereditary conditions. Usually, the situation can be improved with simple exercises and therapy. However, in some cases, you might also need to consider surgery to fix the problem.
4. Spina Bifida
Spina Bifida can either be a harmless condition or can be a serious problem as well. In case it becomes a serious problem, it can lead to leg paralysis as well. It can also cause bowel disorders. In severe cases, the baby will need to be operated on within a few days of birth and will have to undergo therapy for a long time postoperative. Exercise and medicines will be required to teach them to use braces and/or crutches. Some babies might also need to use a wheelchair in the future if the problem escalates.