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Influences on Birth Defects

Influences on Birth Defects

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Influences on Birth Defects

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  1. Influences on Birth Defects

  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 defect • There are over 4,000 known birth defects • Birth defects are the leading cause of death in the first year of life.

  3. What is a Birth Defect?

  4. Environmental Influences on Birth Defects • Inadequate nutrition of mother • Exposure to diseases or infections during pregnancy • Harmful substances consumed during pregnancy

  5. Environmental Influences on Birth Defects • Inadequate nutrition of mother • Stunted brain development of baby • Leads to mental retardation

  6. Environmental Influences on Birth Defects Exposure to diseases or infections during pregnancy • Rubella, or German Measles, can cause blindness, deafness, heart disease, and mental retardation • Toxoplasmosis, can cause hearing loss, learning disabilities and death; found in cat litter and some raw meats • Chicken pox, scarring of babies’ skin, limb defects, eye problems, and miscarriage • STDs can be passed to unborn child and lead to serious illness, physical disabilities, or death

  7. Environmental Influences on Birth Defects Harmful substances consumed during pregnancy • Nicotine from smoking tobacco or secondhand smoke • Smaller babies • Miscarriages and premature births • Respiratory infections or allergies

  8. Environmental Influences on Birth Defects Harmful substances consumed during pregnancy • Alcohol can cause fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS) • 20% of infants die • Facial deformities, delayed physical growth, heart defects, and hyperactivity • Mental retardation or disabilities • Poor coordination • Difficulty controlling behavior

  9. Environment Influences of Birth Defects Harmful substances consumed while pregnant • Drugs • Over-the-the counter drugs • Drug addiction • Long-term learning and behavioral problems • Risk of miscarriages • Congenital heart problems

  10. Environmental Influences on Birth Defects Exposure to hazards during pregnancy • Chemicals • X-rays • Toxoplasmosis – extreme high blood pressure

  11. Environmental Influences on Birth Defects Accidental injuries • Cerebral palsy caused by damage to brain before, during, or shortly after birth • Falls lead to a variety of complications

  12. Hereditary Influences on Birth Defects Dominant genes? Recessive genes? Can you explain the difference?

  13. Hereditary Influences on Birth Defects 1. Defective recessive genes inherited from both parents • Cystic fibrosis • Tay-Sachs disease • Sickle cell anemia 2. Defective dominant gene inherited from one parent • Hemophilia • Huntington’s disease • Duchenne muscular dystrophy • Color blindness 3. Errors in chromosomes • Down syndrome

  14. Combined Influence of Heredity and Environment Birth Defects • Drugs + virus = heart defect • Cleft lip/cleft palate • Spina Bifida – reduce risk by taking folic acid

  15. What potentially causes birth defects?

  16. 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.

  17. Factors that contribute to Birth Defects: • Overweight • Underweight • Jewish descent • African-American

  18. Brainstorm • Visit a health care provider for a pre-pregnancy check up, especially if a woman has health problems • When pregnant take daily multivitamins containing 400 mg of the B-vitamin folic acid • Avoid alcohol, drugs, smoking, prescription or over-the-counter medication unless approved by a health care provider

  19. More factors that contribute to birth defects • Drinks alcohol • Uses prescription drugs • Has used street drugs • Takes vitamins • Drinks caffeine • Has had exposure to chemicals

  20. More factors that contribute to birth defects • Lives in a home built before 1955 (lead paint) • Constant exposure to cats • Has had x-rays during pregnancy • High blood pressure • Diabetes • Sickle cell anemia

  21. More factors that contribute to birth defects • Health problems • Genital herpes • Gonorrhea • Syphilis • No immunizations against rubella • Miscarriage

  22. Can some birth defects be diagnosed before birth?

  23. Can birth defects be treated before birth?

  24. Preventing Birth Defects • Avoid…

  25. Review • How do you define birth defect? • What factors contribute to birth defects? • Can some birth defects be diagnosed before birth? • Can birth defects be prevented?