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Home : Pregnancy and Birth : You Are Pregnant : Birth Defects

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The following links are in English

  • PODS Angels Support Foundation, Inc.
    Support Groups with positive approach to having a beautiful baby/child with Down syndrome. Down syndrome is not a syndrome to be feared, but to be embraced and accepted. Down syndrome is a beautiful thing, education and sharing of the positive information on Down syndrome is our focus.

  • An Overview of Birth Defects
    What is a birth defect? A "birth defect" is a health problem or physical change, which is present in a baby at the time he/she is born. Birth defects may be very mild where the baby looks and acts like any other baby, or birth defects may be very severe, where you can immediately tell there is a health problem present. Some of the severe birth defects can be life threatening, where a baby may only live a few months, or may die at a young age (in their teens, for example).

  • Association of Birth Defect Children, Inc.
    We provide comprehensive factsheets about birth defects, as well as other information. If your child was born with a birth defect, we provide parent matching opportunities and various information sources, including books and links.

  • Birth Defects
    Birth defects are the leading cause of infant mortality in the United States, accounting for more than 20% of all infant deaths. Of about 120,000 U.S. babies born each year with a birth defect, 8,000 die during their first year of life. In addition, birth defects are the fifth-leading cause of years of potential life lost and contribute substantially to childhood morbidity and long-term disability. Because the causes of about 70% of all birth defects are unknown, the public continues to be anxious about whether environmental pollutants cause birth defects, developmental disabilities, or other adverse reproductive outcomes. The public also has many questions about whether various occupational hazards, dietary factors, medications, and personal behaviors cause or contribute to birth defects.

  • Birth Defects
    Birth Defects are the major cause of infant mortality and a leading cause of disability. Birth Defects can be prevented. Early intervention is important to ameliorate the consequences of birth defects and requires accurate diagnosis and understanding of causes.

  • Birth Defects and Pediatric Genetics
    Birth defects are the leading cause of infant mortality in the United States, accounting for more than 20% of all infant deaths. Of about 120,000 U.S. babies born each year with a birth defect, 8,000 die during their first year of life. In addition, birth defects are the fifth-leading cause of years of potential life lost and contribute substantially to childhood morbidity and long-term disability.

  • Endocrinology and Birth Defects
    One in every fourteen babies born in the United States has a birth defect. Thus, millions of families are affected by birth defects. Each year, the care of children with birth defects in this country costs billions of dollars.

  • Factors Important in Teratogenicity -What are Teratogens?
    A teratogen is an agent that produces a malformation or raises the population incidence of malformation. The effects of teratogens are not inheritable. The agent may come from the external environment ( drugs/chemicals, infection, radiation), or it may be a metabolite produced in excess by the mother or fetus.

  • Genesis Fund
    The Genesis Fund is a nonprofit organization that raises money for the specialized care and treatment of New England area children born with birth defects, mental retardation and genetic diseases.

  • International Clearinghouse for Birth Defects Monitoring Systems
    Dedicated to the sharing of data, news and views on congenital malformations monitoring, research and prevention

  • Kids with Heart
    Providing support, education, and information for families of children and adults with congenital heart defects and acquired heart disease.

  • MedLine Birth Defects
    Latest News on Birth Defects

  • National Birth Defects Prevention Network
    MISSION STATEMENT: "The mission of the National Birth Defects Prevention Network is to establish and maintain a national network of state and population-based programs for birth defects surveillance and research to assess the impact of birth defects upon children, families, and health care; to identify factors that can be used to develop primary prevention strategies; and to assist families and their providers in secondary disabilities prevention."

  • National Organization for Rare Disorders
    The National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD) is a unique federation of voluntary health organizations dedicated to helping people with rare "orphan" diseases and assisting the organizations that serve them. NORD is committed to the identification, treatment, and cure of rare disorders through programs of education, advocacy, research, and service.

  • New Jersey Fetal Abnormalities Registry
    The New Jersey Fetal Abnormalities Registry (NJFAR) collects information on pregnancies in which a physical problem with a baby's development is suspected before birth.

  • Prenatal Screening for Birth Defects/Ultrasound
    Lot's of useful information about the related topics of birth defects and ultrasound screening.

  • Teratogens in our Everyday Environment
    If you really want to help prevent birth defects, remind women that the most vulnerable time is 4 to 12 weeks, and during that time, they want to avoid anything that smells or tastes bad

  • Vitamins, Caffeine and Pregnancy
    Fifty percent of birth defects can be eliminated if women take prenatal vitamins before pregnancy. The amount of folic acid required to grow a healthy baby cannot be obtained by diet alone. Preparing for pregnancy is no longer a luxury but a necessity to help insure the healthiest mother and baby possible. Many women are already 4-6 weeks pregnant before they realize they have started a new life. By taking vitamins beginning three months before beginning attempts to get pregnant you assure your baby a healthy start in life. Proper nutrition is also important both before and during the pregnancy.

  • What Is Down Syndrome ?
    All women, irrespective of age, are at risk for giving birth to a child with birth defects. For example, in the state of California 1,600 children are born each day, with 50 having a major birth defect. Of these 50, two will have Down syndrome (trisomy 21).

  • Why Folic Acid is So Important
    Folic acid is a B-vitamin that can be found in some enriched foods and vitamin pills. If women have enough of it in their bodies before pregnancy, this vitamin can decrease the risk for birth defects of the baby's brain or spine.


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