When you are pregnant, it is essential to take proper care of your body so that an infant has the best health. However, there are 4 prenatal health concerns that you should understand during your pregnancy so that you can prevent problems or seek help right away for a child’s birth defect.
1. Spina Bifida
When an infant’s spinal column fails to develop properly, the child can have spina bifida. This neural tube abnormality can lead to an assortment of problems for a child’s physical development. Many children with this condition are unable to walk, have incontinence issues or other lifelong medical problems. In some cases, the neural tube defect can affect the lungs or the digestive system. Fortunately, a surgeon can operate on an infant’s back to repair the external damage from spina bifida. However, most children will need to use assistive items that include braces and wheelchairs.
Newborns can have jaundice that causes a yellowing of the skin and the white part of the eyeball. Infants with jaundice may not suckle properly, leading to weight loss. In addition, the infant may seem sleepy most of the time. Untreated jaundice can lead to additional medical issues, so it is imperative to treat this problem right away. Today, hospitals will begin treating jaundice with light therapy from special lamps that are inside the baby’s crib in the nursery.
3. Cleft Lip
A cleft lip condition occurs when the upper lip of the infant is divided into two sections. This abnormality varies in severity, and it can include having a hole in the roof of the mouth. A pediatric plastic surgeon can correct this facial abnormality with one or more cleft lip surgery procedures. In some cases, an infant can have the first surgery right away, but a surgeon may want to wait a few weeks before operating on the child.
4. Cerebral Palsy
Cerebral palsy is a disorder that occurs due to the lack of oxygen to the brain before birth or during the delivery of an infant. However, brain damage to the infant can happen in other ways. This condition can lead to poor reflexes and muscle tone, making mobility difficult for the child. Children who have cerebral palsy may need surgery and therapies to improve their quality of life.
Pregnant mothers can’t always prevent a health issue in a child, but by eating a nutritious diet, taking prenatal vitamins and following the advice of a physician, an infant is less likely to have serious medical problems at birth
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