Few things are as devastating to California parents as learning that their baby was born with birth defects. It’s important to understand birth defects and how they happen.
What are birth defects?
Birth defects are very common. They include a change in a baby that occurs at birth and might be noticeable or unnoticeable depending on how they present in the child. They can be mild, moderate or severe and can affect the way a child looks. However, some birth defects may lie dormant if they are not visible to the eye.
Depending on the circumstances, a birth defect might be detected before a child’s birth. However, they are often not found until a few years into the child’s life. An example of an immediately noticeable birth defect is a cleft lip. However, if the child is affected by birth defects like hearing loss or a heart defect, they might not be known for weeks, months or even years. Testing can detect unseen birth defects.
What can cause birth defects?
Birth defects develop at any point in a mother’s pregnancy. Most develop within the first three months in the first trimester while the fetus’ organs are beginning to develop. Some can occur later in the pregnancy.
Certain birth defects have a known cause such as fetal alcohol syndrome. Some are genetic or caused by an illness. Some come from environmental factors and behaviors of one or both parents such as drug abuse. A mother’s older age may also cause the child to have birth defects. However, in some cases, there are unknown causes for birth defects.
What are examples of birth defects?
There are many different types of birth defects. The following are a few examples:
- Limb problems
- Down’s syndrome
- Spina bifida
- Cleft lip or palate
- Heart defects
- Hearing loss
- Muscular dystrophy
- Diaphragmatic hernia
Some birth defects can be prevented or detected before birth. You might have a claim to hold the doctor accountable in those situations.