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Birth Defects
It is estimated that about 1 out of 33 babies are born with some type of birth defect. According to the Center for Disease Control birth defects account for 20% of all infant deaths. Most birth defects occur in the first three months of pregnancy as the baby is developing. Birth defects can affect how a child can look or how a child's body may function.

Many birth defects can be detected while the baby is in the mother womb by the use of ultrasound or genetic testing. Others are detected as soon as the baby is born and still others within the first year of a baby's life.

Common birth defects include developmental problems with the heart or neural tube like spina bifida . Others birth defects are physical abnormalities like cleft palate.

About 3% of babies in the United States are born with birth defects. Your risk of having a child affected by a birth defect can increase with maternal age. Women over age 35 are more likely to have a child with Down syndrome . Women who smoke or drink alcohol also increase their risks of having a child with a birth defect. Family history and genetic factors may also increase your risks of having giving birth to a child with a birth defect.

Securing quality prenatal care, taking folic acid supplements and eating healthy can help improve your chances of having a healthy baby. Prenatal care also provides testing and screening for many common birth defects.

General Introduction to Pregnancy
Your Changing Body + Pregnancy
Your Baby’s Development
Potential Pregnancy Complications
Labor and Delivery
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General Introduction to Parenting
Child Nutrition
Childcare and Education
Sleep in the Early Years
Baby Milestones
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