We’ve previously discussed the 2 types of birth defects.

In order to lessen the chances of your baby having a birth defect, you’ll need to identify the causes. In this article, we’ll be talking about the possible cause of birth defects.

1. Genetic disorders

This sort of disorders are caused by an altered or ‘faulty’ gene or set or genes. This means that the information contained in the particular gene is either changed or missing. The mother or father may pass on genetic abnormalities to their baby. In this case, these defects happen at conception and often can’t be prevented. The defect may be present throughout the family history of one or both parents.

2. Maternal illness during pregnancy

Infectious diseases not only can cause serious harm to the mother, but also the the unborn baby. For example, the Zika virus during pregnancy is linked with the birth defect called microcephaly, in which the brain and skull are smaller than normal.

Source: AnA Photography

3. Alcohol or drugs

Alcohol, tobacco, some illegal drugs, and certain prescription and over-the-counter medications are known to cause birth defects if taken during pregnancy. Alcohol abuse by the mother can also cause fetal alcohol syndrome, in which excessive alcohol consumed by the mother causes the baby to have defects. An example of prescriptions-caused medications is thalidomide.

4. Individual pregnancy factors

The mother’s blood and the baby’s blood may not be compatible. An example of this is the Rh disease, in which a mother or baby is Rh-negative while the other counterpart is Rh-positive. Another factor is that there could be too little amniotic fluid in the womb.

5. Radiation exposure

Radiations from X-ray machines or other sources can damage the genes of the developing baby, particularly during the first trimester.

Sources: Better Health, NIH, Health Line.

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