Birth Defects: Causes and Ways to Prevent

Although not very common, some babies are born with birth defects. Congenital defects are called congenital abnormalities in medical science. Congenital abnormality refers to the child’s physical, mental, and intellectual abnormalities. This happens during pregnancy, childbirth and environmental reasons and some other reasons.

Causes of birth defects in the baby

The main cause of congenital defects or congenital abnormalities in a child is chromosomal abnormalities or genetic abnormalities. In addition to genetic abnormalities, there are several other risk factors for risk of birth defects. However, it cannot be said with certainty that a person with a risk factor will have a birth defect in their unborn child.

Child birth defects – Risk factors


If the mother is infected during pregnancy with some infections such as toxoplasmosis (a type of microbial disease that enters the human body through eating raw or semi-cooked meat and others), this can lead to birth defects in the fetus. Infection with rubella, chickenpox, (a virus that spreads through the air) during pregnancy, and sexually transmitted diseases such as syphilis, cytomegalovirus, etc. can also cause birth defects in the baby.

Gestational age / gestational age:

If the mother is 35 years of age or older during pregnancy, there is a risk of birth defects in the fetus. Studies have shown that if a pregnant mother is 35 years of age or older, the fetus is more likely to have Down’s syndrome.

If you have a history of birth defects in previous pregnancies:

If there is a birth defect in the previous child, there is a risk of having a birth defect in the next fetus. Also, if someone in the family has a birth defect, it is also one of the risk factors for birth defects.

If the parents are relatives:

Studies have shown that if the baby’s parents are related, that is, if there is a blood relationship between them, it may also be responsible for the genetic abnormality of the fetus.

Taking medication during pregnancy:

Taking medicines without consulting a doctor during pregnancy can cause birth defects in the fetus. Some drugs reach the baby’s body through the placenta or placenta and cause its birth defects due to its teratogenic effects.


Smoking or drinking during pregnancy, not taking the necessary vitamins and folic acid, some environmental factors such as radiation, etc. can also cause birth defects. If the pregnant mother has diabetes and if it is not treated properly, it can also cause birth defects in the baby.

That are all congenital defects

Congenital heart disease: Congenital heart disease refers to the structural and functional abnormalities of the heart. Rubella infections during pregnancy, uncontrolled diabetes, smoking / drinking, hereditary or hereditary and taking certain medications can cause congenital heart disease in the baby.

Spina bifida: A congenital disease in which no vertebrae or vertebrae form around the spinal cord and there is incomplete development of the spine and its lining (meninges). Spina bifida.

Cut the lips / cut the palate: Although not very common, in some cases a congenital cut of the lips or cutting the palate is seen in children. Risk factors include not taking essential vitamins during pregnancy, genetic and environmental factors, smoking or drinking, etc.

Down’s syndrome: Abnormal chromosome abnormalities in the fetus cause Down’s syndrome. In this case, the child’s physical growth and intellectual development is impaired. The probability of having such a child is less than 0.1% for 20 year old mothers and up to 3% for 45 year old mothers.

Cerebral palsy: Cerebral palsy occurs when the part of the brain that controls movement, fine work or fine motor function is disrupted. This impairs the ability to move, stand and do fine work, and there is no cure for it. Rubella virus infection during pregnancy or lack of oxygen to the baby’s brain during delivery is one of the leading causes of cerebral palsy.

Others: Sometimes a baby does not have a hole in the anus or anus at birth, in medical science it is called ‘imperforated anus’. A club foot of congenital defects. In this case, the baby’s ankle bends due to abnormalities in the leg muscles and bones, and sometimes the affected leg is a little shorter than the other leg. Hypospadias is one of the birth defects in boys. This condition is also called ‘cryptocurrencyism’ in medical science when boys do not have testicles in the scrotum at birth. Later in the testis scrotum with the help of orchidopexy operation.

Ways to prevent birth defects

  • Get regular antenatal checkups during pregnancy.
  • Get the necessary vitamins and folic acid as advised by the doctor during pregnancy and get vaccinated regularly and control excess weight.
  • Know about sexually transmitted diseases and in this case must consult a doctor.
  • In case of risky pregnancy i.e. ‘High Risk Pregnancy’, caution should be taken as per the advice of the doctor.
  • Do not take any medicine during pregnancy without the advice of a doctor and avoid smoking and alcohol completely.
  • Discourage marriage between close relatives and 35 later pregnancies.
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