Birth Defects

Birth defects are structural changes present at birth that can affect almost any part or parts of the body (e.g., heart, brain, foot). They may affect how the body looks, works, or both. Birth defects can vary from mild ...1

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Causes of Birth Defects

What causes birth defects? Different birth defects have different causes. A specific condition might be caused by one or more of the following problems:

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Causes List for Birth Defects

Some possible causes of Birth Defects or similar disorders may include:2

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Types of Birth Defects

What are the types of birth defects? There are two main categories of birth defects. Structural Birth Defects Structural birth defects are related to a problem with body parts and structure. These can include:

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Diagnosis of Birth Defects

How do health care providers diagnose birth defects? Diagnosis of birth defects depends on the specific problem and parts of the body affected. For example, although their causes might not be easily detectable, structural birth defects such as clubfoot and ...3

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Risk Factors for Birth Defects

Birth defects can occur during any pregnancy, but some pregnancies are at higher risk than others. The following situations place pregnant women at higher risk of having a child with a birth defect2:

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Treatments: Birth Defects

What are the treatments for birth defects? Because the symptoms and problems caused by birth defects vary, treatments for birth defects also vary. Treatments range from medications, to therapies, to surgeries, to assistive devices. For example, in the Management of ...4

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Prevention of Birth Defects

Did You Know? Women can take steps before and during pregnancy to reduce the risk of having a baby born with birth defects. Such steps include taking a daily multivitamin with folic acid (400 micrograms), not smoking, and not drinking alcohol ...5

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Research for Birth Defects

The NICHD’s history is rooted in its aim to understand, to prevent, and to ameliorate a range of birth defects, from structural birth defects, such as NTDs, to IDDs. Institute research has made critical discoveries about various birth defects ...6

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Names and Terminology

The NICHD is aware that the term "birth defects" carries negative undertones and that the term does not reflect the many abilities and talents of ...7

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  1. Source: CDC NCBDDD: ncbddd/ birthdefects/ index.html
  2. Source: Algorithmically Generated List
  3. Source: NICHD (NIH): health/ topics/ birthdefects/ conditioninfo/ Pages/ diagnosed.aspx
  4. Source: NICHD (NIH): health/ topics/ birthdefects/ conditioninfo/ Pages/ treatment.aspx
  5. Source: CDC NCBDDD: ncbddd/ heartdefects/ hlhs.html
  6. Source: NICHD (NIH): health/ topics/ birthdefects/ researchinfo/ pages/ goals.aspx
  7. Source: NICHD (NIH): health/ topics/ birthdefects/ researchinfo/ Pages/ default.aspx

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Note: This site is for informational purposes only and is not medical advice. See your doctor or other qualified medical professional for all your medical needs.