Problems in Prenatal Development Ectopic Pregnancy Instead of moving into the uterus, the fertilized egg continues to develop in the fallopian tube. MISCARRIAGE: The natural ending of a pregnancy before the embryo or fetus can survive outside the womb. STILLBIRTH: The natural ending of a pregnancy after 20 weeks. The loss happens by accident and is not the fault of the father or mother. Premature Baby: Baby that is born before their development is complete. Pregnancy is less than 36 weeks. Weighs less than 5 ½ pounds (last month of pregnancy is when they gain most of their weight). Small size and incomplete development can make them vulnerable to infection, lung ailments, etc. Low Birthweight Baby: Baby is full term (or near full term) but weighs less than 5 pounds 8 ounces. Usually occurs because of poor prenatal care (lack of medical care or poor prenatal environment). May have more long term issues than a premature baby. Age of Viability The age at which a baby can survive outside the womb. Birth Defects: Birth abnormality that affects the structure or function of the body. – Spina Bifida – Hydrocephalus – Cerebral Palsy – Cleft Lip or Palate – Muscular Dystrophy – Cystic Fibrosis – Down Syndrome Causes of birth defects: Environmental causes – nutritional imbalance of mother’s diet – any disease or infections the mother may have during pregnancy – harmful substances – outside hazards (radiation) Heredity – the result of inheriting the same defective gene from both parents. Errors in baby’s chromosomes, not linked to parents Fetal Alcohol Syndrome 3/1,000 babies have FAS Mother drinks heavily during pregnancy – alcohol interferes with brain development – heart defects – poor motor development Cerebral Palsy Caused by injury to the brain before, during, or after birth. A group of disorders that affect movement control. May include lack of coordination, jerkiness, difficulty in speech, and paralysis. Spina Bifida Paralysis, hydrocephalus (fluid on the brain), bladder and bowel control difficulties, learning disabilities, Spine is developing depression, latex allergy, on the outside of the and social and sexual baby. issues are all symptoms. My name is Michael Clancy and I am the photojournalist that photographed Samuel Armas reaching from his mother's womb and reacting to the touch of his surgeon at twenty-one weeks in utero during a spina bifida corrective procedure in 1999." "Out of the corner of my eye I saw the uterus shake, but no one's hands were near it. It was shaking from within. Suddenly, an entire arm thrust out of the opening, then pulled back until just a little hand was showing. The doctor reached over and lifted the hand, which reacted and squeezed the doctor's finger. As if testing for strength, the doctor shook the tiny fist. Samuel held firm. I took the picture! Wow! It happened so fast that the nurse standing next to me asked, "What happened?" "The child reached out," I said. "Oh. They do that all the time," she responded." Hydrocephalus Extra fluid that is trapped around the brain. Without treatment children rarely survive. Surgical removal of the excess fluid increases chances of survival and normal development. Cleft Lip / Palate Birth defect that develops when the face does not grow together during prenatal development. Muscular Dystrophy The muscular dystrophies (MD) are a group of genetic (inherited) diseases characterized by progressive weakness and degeneration of the skeletal muscles which control movement. Cystic Fibrosis A genetic disease that causes the body to produce an abnormally thick, sticky mucus, due to the faulty transport of sodium and chloride (salt) within cells lining such organs as the lungs and pancreas to their outer surfaces. Abnormal mucus clogs the lungs and leads to life-threatening lung infections. Down Syndrome Chromosomal error – extra chromosome 21 (they don’t know why there is an extra one) – mother’s age will increase the risk – father may also be a carrier Rh Factor Protein substance found in the red blood cells of 85 % of the population (Rh+). Causes a problem for the baby when the father is Rh+ and the mother is Rh-. Rh Disease: type of anemia that destroys the baby’s red blood cells if mother is Rhand baby is Rh+. Mother receives an injection to prevent this from happening. Can birth defects be predicted? Some hereditary or chromosomal defects can be predicted before or during pregnancy: – Genetic Counseling – AFP – Ultrasound – Amniocentesis – Chorionic Villus Sampling Genetic Counseling Some defects can be predicted. Counseling combines a knowledge of heredity and birth defects with lab tests. Explains options and risk. Tells parents in advance the statistical odds that their children will have a certain disease or defect. Ultrasound Technique using sound waves to make a video image – sonogram - of an unborn baby. Checks for: health problems fetal development skeletal/ organ defects. Amniocentesis A sample of the amniotic fluid surrounding an unborn baby is withdrawn with a special needle and tested for indications of specific birth defects or other health problems. Done when fetus is 14 to 16 weeks old; results confirmed three to five weeks later. Chorionic Villus Sampling Procedure for finding abnormalities in the unborn by testing a small sample of the chorion, which will later develop into the fetal part of the placenta. Used between weeks 8 and 12 of pregnancy. Slight risk of infection which can result in a miscarriage. Can birth defects be prevented? Avoid environmental hazards Appropriate exercise Proper nutrition Nutritional supplements – Folic Acid – Helps protect your unborn baby against birth defects of the brain and spinal cord (neural tube defects). – Take 400 micrograms each day. Gestational Diabetes A form of diabetes that occurs only during pregnancy. If left untreated during pregnancy, can cause baby to be heavier than is normal or healthy. Can usually be controlled by a special diet or may require medication. Usually goes away after baby is born. Preeclampsia • Characterized by high blood pressure and the presence of protein in the mother’s urine • Can prevent the baby from getting enough blood, which provides oxygen and food. • May require bed rest, medication, or an early delivery by C-section. Anemia A condition that results from not having enough red blood cells which means there is not enough iron in the blood. Symptoms include fatigue, shortness of breath, and rapid heartbeat. Not all birth defects are preventable, but you must do all that is in your power to protect your unborn child from those that are!