January is National Birth Defects Prevention Month and a great time to raise awareness about avoiding preventable factors that can leave an unborn baby with lifelong health problems.
A baby is born with a birth defect every four and a half minutes in the U.S., according to the National Birth Defects Prevention Network (NBDPN). Further, birth defects are the most common cause of death in infants and the second most common cause of death in children up to four years of age. Public awareness and expert medical care are essential in decreasing these staggering statistics, the NBDPN urges.
Birth defects include (but are not limited to):
- Congenital heart defects
- Cleft lip and cleft palate
- Defects of the brain, spine, bones, muscles and internal organs
- Genetic syndromes such as Down syndrome
Some birth defects only briefly affect a baby’s health, while others are permanent and/or life-threatening.
The risk for many types of birth defects can be reduced through healthy lifestyle choices and proper medical care. Unfortunately, certain drugs have been found to pose dangerous risks to unborn babies when taken during pregnancy, and mothers are not always warned in time. For example, studies have linked Zofran use during pregnancy with an increased risk of cleft palate and congenital heart defects.
It’s important to make good choices to reduce your baby’s risk of developing birth defects. If you took Zofran during pregnancy and your baby was harmed, you may not have received warning in time to make an informed decision. Contact our firm for assistance if it happened to you.