2 FACTS About 150,000 babies are born each year with birth defects. The parents of one out of every 28 babies receive the frightening news that their baby has a birth defectThere are over 4,000 known birth defectsBirth defects are the leading cause of death in the first year of life.
3 What is a Birth Defect? Birth defects are the leading cause of death for infants during the first year of life. Every year, about 7.9 million infants (6% of worldwide births) are born with serious birth defects. The most common birth defects are heart defects, cleft lip and cleft palate, Down syndrome and spina bifida.
4 I. Environmental Influences on Birth Defects A. Inadequate nutrition of motherB. Exposure to diseases or infections during pregnancyC. Harmful substances consumed during pregnancy
5 I. Environmental Influences on Birth Defects A. Inadequate nutrition of mother1. Stunted brain development of baby2. Leads to mental retardation
6 I. Environmental Influences on Birth Defects B. Exposure to diseases or infections during pregnancy1. Rubella or German Measles, can cause blindness, deafness, heart disease, and mental retardation2. Toxoplasmosis, can cause hearing loss, learning disabilities and death; found in cat litter and some raw meats3. Chicken pox can cause scarring of babies’ skin, limb defects, eye problems, and miscarriage4. STDs can be passed to unborn child and lead to serious illness, physical disabilities, or death
7 ToxoplasmosisToxoplasmosis is considered to be a leading cause of death attributed to foodborne illness in the United States. More than 60 million men, women, and children in the U.S. carry the Toxoplasma parasite, but very few have symptoms because the immune system usually keeps the parasite from causing illness.Cats play an important role in the spread of toxoplasmosis. They become infected by eating infected rodents, birds, or other small animals. The parasite is then passed in the cat's feces. Cats play an important role in the spread of toxoplasmosis. They become infected by eating infected rodents, birds, or other small animals. The parasite is then passed in the cat's feces.If you are newly infected with Toxoplasma while you are pregnant, or just before pregnancy, then you can pass the infection on to your baby. You may not have any symptoms from the infection. Most infected infants do not have symptoms at birth but can develop serious symptoms later in life, such as blindness or mental disability. Occasionally infected newborns have serious eye or brain damage at birth.
8 I. Environmental Influences on Birth Defects C. Harmful substances consumed during pregnancy1. Nicotine from smoking tobacco or secondhand smokea. Smaller babiesb. Miscarriages and prematurebirthsc. Respiratory infections or allergies
9 I. Environmental Influences on Birth Defects C. Harmful substances consumed during pregnancy2. Alcohol can cause fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS)a. 20% of FAS infants dieb. Facial deformities, delayed physical growth,heart defects, and hyperactivityc. Mental retardation or disabilitiesd. Poor coordinatione. Difficulty controlling behavior
10 I. Environment Influences of Birth Defects C. Harmful substances consumed while pregnant3. Drugsa. Over-the-the counter drugsb. Drug addictionc. Long-term learning and behavioral problemsd. Risk of miscarriagese. Congenital heart problems
11 I. Environmental Influences on Birth Defects 4. Exposure to hazards during pregnancya. Chemicalsb. X-raysc. Toxoplasmosis – from cats
12 I. Environmental Influences on Birth Defects 5. Accidental injuriesa. Cerebral palsy caused by damage to brain before, during, or shortly after birthb. Falls lead to a variety of complications
13 II. Hereditary Influences on Birth Defects Dominant genes?Recessive genes?Can you explain the difference?
14 II. Hereditary Influences on Birth Defects A. Defective recessive genes inherited from both parents1. Cystic fibrosis2. Tay-Sachs disease3. Sickle cell anemiaB. Defective dominant gene inherited from one parent1. Hemophilia2. Huntington’s disease3. Duchenne muscular dystrophy4. Color blindnessC. Errors in chromosomes1. Down syndrome
15 III. Combined Influence of Heredity and Environment Birth Defects A. Drugs + virus = heart defectB. Cleft lip/cleft palateC. Spina Bifida – reduce risk by taking folic acid
17 Can birth defects be prevented? While the potential causes of most birth defects are not known, there are a number of steps a woman can take to reduce her risk of having a baby with a birth defect.
18 IV. Factors that contribute to Birth Defects: A. OverweightB. UnderweightC. Jewish or African-American decent
19 BrainstormVisit a health care provider for a pre-pregnancy check up, especially if a woman has health problemsWhen pregnant take daily multivitamins containing 400 mg of the B-vitamin folic acidAvoid alcohol, drugs, smoking, prescription or over-the-counter medication unless approved by a health care provider
20 V. More factors that contribute to birth defects A. Drinks alcoholB. Uses prescription drugsC. Has used street drugsD. Takes vitaminsE. Drinks caffeineF. Has had exposure to chemicals
21 V. More factors that contribute to birth defects G. Lives in a home built before 1955(lead paint)H. Constant exposure to catsI. Has had x-rays during pregnancyJ. High blood pressureK. DiabetesL. Sickle cell anemia
22 V. More factors that contribute to birth defects M. Health problemsN. Genital herpesO. GonorrheaP. SyphilisQ. No immunizations against rubellaR. Miscarriage
23 Can some birth defects be diagnosed before birth?