Birth related · Pregnancy Related

birth defects effecting the body of newborn babies

Today we discuss part two by looking at birth defects that occassionally occur in the body of newborn babies.

Spina Bifida

Spina Bifida which means “cleft spine” is a result of incomplete development of the brain, spinal cord and/or meninges Which is the protective covering of the brain and spinal cord.The human nervous system develops from a small, specialized plate of cells along the back of an embryo. Early in development the edges of this plate begin to curl up toward each other,creating the neural tube known as a narrow sheath that closes to form the brain and spinal cord of the embryo. As the development progresses the top of the tube becomes the brain and the remainder becomes the spinal cord.This process is usually complete by the 28th day of pregnancy if problems arise during this process, the result can be brain disorders called neural tube defect, including spina bifida which is the most common neural tube defect in the USA, it affects 1,500 – 2,000 of more than 4 million babies born each year in the country.

 There are four types of spina bifida: Occulta, closed neural tube defects, Meningocele, and Myelomeningocele.

Occulta which means “hidden” is the mildest but most common form in which one or more vertebrae are malformed this indicates the malformation or the opening of the spine that is covered by a layer of skin,this can rarely cause a person that had spina bifida to have disability symptoms.

Closed neural defects consists of a diverse group of spinal defects in which it shows the spinal cord marked by a malformation of fat, bone or membranes, make up the second type of spina bifida,in some cases their symptoms are few or none in others the malformations causes them incomplete paralysis with the function of urinary and bowl movements. C.N.T.D is normally recognised early in life as an abnormal tuft or clump of hair, small dimple or birthmark on the skin at the side of the spinal malfunction.

Meningocele (the third type of spina bifida) which means the meninges protrude from the spinal opening which may or may not be covered by a layer of skin. some patients with this type of spina bifida could have few or no symptoms, while some others could experience symptoms similar to the second type of spina bifida Closed Neural Defect.

Myelomeningocele, is the most severe and occurs when the spinal cord is exposed through the opening in the spine, the result of this is partial or complete paralysis of the parts of the body below the spinal opening. The paralysis may be so severe that the affected individual is unable to walk and may have urinary and bowel dysfunction.

Meningocele and Myelomeningocele both involve a fluid sac that is visible on the patients back protruding from the spinal cord, Meningocele symptom is a fluid sac may be covered by a thin layer of skin, whereas in most cases of Myelomeningocele there is no layer of skin covering the sac and a section of the spinal cord tissue is usually visible.

Nobody knows the exact cause of spina bifida and what disrupts the complete closure of the neural tube which causes the malformation to occur. It is thought by scientists that genetics, nutritional and environmental factors play a role. Research has shown that the none taking of folic acid and vitamin B in a pregnant women’s diet could be a key factor in this. Prenatal vitamins are described to pregnant women which contain folic acid as well as other vitamins.

Take folic acid as soon as you are trying for a baby.Or as soon as you suspect you may be pregnant.This helps to combact spina bifida.

Gastroschisis in a newborn

Gastroschisis is a condition where a baby develops a defect (hole) in the abdominal wall, (usually on the right side of the umbilical cord) during the development in their mothers womb. The bowl escapes through the hole and then continues to develop on the outside of the baby’s abdomen. Approximately this happens once in seven thousand births. There is also an increase chance that a baby with this a baby that has the defect will be born prematurely and small.The treatment for this defect is carefully planned by specialist consultants who are able to answer questions and concerns related to the condition, a baby will undergo an operation soon after birth to repair this defect followed by admittance to a special baby care unit for the close monitoring of the baby.

 Through current research the defect predominantly occurs on the right hand side of the umbilical cord, without the protection of a sac the intestines are exposed to an increased amount of amniotic fluid, this in turn prevents the development of a baby causing the Gastroschisis. Through current study it is known that the Gastroschisis condition has very few other complications and is considered a sporadic condition which rarely repeats in other pregnancies which seems to eliminate a genetic condition.


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