10 Facts about Fetal Anomalies Everyone Should Know

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According to the World Health Organization, birth defects are irregularities that can be either structural or functional and occur during pregnancy and can be detected before birth, at the time of birth, or sometimes not until infancy. Anomaly is another term for a birth defect. They are usually caused by problems during fetal development.

Fetal anomalies can range from mild to severe. Some babies born with fetal anomalies die soon after birth. Others may have lifelong health problems. But many babies with fetal anomalies go on to lead healthy lives.

If you are interested in learning more about fetal anomalies, here are 10 facts you should know:

  1. Fetal anomalies are relatively common. It is estimated that 1 in every 33 babies in the United States is born with a birth defect. This is equivalent to about 3% of all births.
  2. The most common type of fetal anomaly is a heart defect. It is estimated that 1 in every 100 babies born in the United States has a heart defect.
  3. Fetal anomalies are a leading cause of infant death. In the United States, birth defects are responsible for 1 in 5 infant deaths.
  4. Most fetal anomalies are diagnosed before birth. Thanks to advances in diagnostic imaging, such as ultrasound, many fetal anomalies can be detected before a baby is born.
  5. Some fetal anomalies can be treated before birth. If a fetal anomaly is detected before birth, it may be possible to treat it with medication or surgery.
  6. Some fetal anomalies can be treated after birth. If a fetal anomaly is not detected before birth, it may still be possible to treat it with medication or surgery after the baby is born.
  7. Fetal anomalies can cause lifelong health problems. Some babies born with fetal anomalies will have lifelong health problems. This may include developmental delays, learning disabilities, and physical impairments.
  8. There is no one cause of fetal anomalies. Fetal anomalies can be caused by genetic factors, environmental factors, or a combination of both.
  9. Some women are at an increased risk of having a baby with a birth defect. Women who are over the age of 35 and women who have certain medical conditions, such as diabetes, are at an increased risk of having a baby with a birth defect.
  10. You can help prevent birth defects. There are some things you can do to help reduce your risk of having a baby with a birth defect. These include getting regular prenatal care, avoiding tobacco and alcohol, and taking folic acid.

What options are available to parents when a fetal anomaly is diagnosed?

If you are pregnant and a fetal anomaly is diagnosed, you will have to make some difficult decisions. You may choose to continue the pregnancy and prepare for your baby’s birth defects. Or you may choose to terminate the pregnancy. This decision is personal and there is no right or wrong answer. It is important to talk to your doctor and other trusted advisers to help you make the decision that is right for you.

What happens if a baby is born with a birth defect?

If a baby is born with a birth defect, the first thing that will happen is that he or she will be seen by a doctor. The doctor will do a physical exam and order some tests. Based on the results of the physical exam and tests, the doctor will develop a plan of care. This may include medication, surgery, or therapy.

The prognosis for a baby with a birth defect depends on the severity of the defect. Some babies with mild birth defects will have no health problems. Others with more severe birth defects will have lifelong health problems. In some cases, a baby with a birth defect will not survive.

Can birth defects be prevented?

There is no sure way to prevent all birth defects. But there are some things you can do to help reduce your risk of having a baby with a birth defect. These include getting regular prenatal care, avoiding tobacco and alcohol, and taking folic acid.

If you are pregnant and have a family history of birth defects, you may want to consider genetic counselling. Genetic counseling can help you understand your risk of having a baby with a birth defect. It can also help you make informed decisions about your pregnancy.

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