Serious Birth Disorders You Should Be Aware Of
By Sarah Veda
Birth disorders are a subject that none of us wants to think about when we're pregnant, and in fact, you shouldn't spend time dwelling on things that will probably never happen. But, in the unlikely event that your child is diagnosed with a birth disorder, you should know where to go for information. Here are some of the more common birth disorders, and some basic information on diagnosis.
"Autism - Autism is the lack of ability to develop normal relationships. This disorder can begin at birth, or develop during later, but is always present by the time the child is two and half. Autistic children often fail to smile or respond to others, even their parents, and they don't like to be touched. Their lack of responsiveness often makes them appear to be mentally handicapped, though they are usually of normal intelligence. These children are usually plagued with behavior and developmental problems. Autism affects approximately 5 of 10,000 babies born in the US, and varies greatly in its degree of severity. Some children, with therapy, can function fairly normally, but many others will require lifetime care.
"Cerebral Palsy (CP) - Cerebral palsy is caused by damage to the brain, and presents itself through impaired motor skills. These impairments range from mild to severe. Currently, in the US there are about 15,000 cases a year, though these numbers are decreasing due to increased awareness of the importance of prenatal care and safer childbirth practices. CP can be caused by a prenatal infection in the mother or by severe or traumatic labor. There is no cure, but if treated early with physical therapy and other treatments, some children are able to function fairly normally. Some very severe cases can leave a child completely disabled.
"Cleft Lip/Palate - This is a condition which causes a split where the upper lip and the roof of the mouth fail to grow together properly. This condition affects about 1 in 700 births in the US, and ranges in severity. Cleft lip can be caused by heredity, or by unhealthy prenatal conditions, such as lack of folic acid or malnutrition. This condition is usually treated with one or more surgeries, dental adjustments and speech therapy. Most children live a normal life, with just a small scar.
If your child is diagnosed with any birth disorder, it is important to seek treatment and support immediately. Your doctor can recommend resources to help you deal with the physical and emotional effects of birth disorders. Getting help and information early on is critical to creating the best life possible for your baby and for you.
About The Author
Sarah Veda is a 41 year old wife and mother of two boys and one girl. She spent many years as a manager in the corporate world, and gave it up to be a stay at home mom.
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