Causes Of Birth Defects

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Causes of Birth Defects
Every day a baby is born with a birth defect, and these defects range from minor abnormalities that need no treatment, to severe defects that may need surgery, need medication, or even cause disabilities. Caused by environmental influences or inheritance, a birth defect is a biochemical or physical abnormality present at birth. Around 4,000 birth defects have been discovered throughout the years and each year 1 out of 33 babies are born with a defect (“Gupta”). What mothers do while pregnant can be a major factor that causes a birth defect. The most common causes of birth defects include smoking, alcohol use, and recreational drug use while pregnant.
Smoking during pregnancy is one of the most common causes of birth defects in babies. If a mother is smoking during her pregnancy the fetus is also experiencing the effects smoking can cause. On average twenty percent of women smoke during their pregnancies causing 1,000 baby deaths each year in the United States (“Smoking During Pregnancy”). Smoking during pregnancy accounts for thirty percent of babies born underweight, fourteen percent of premature labors, and ten percent of all infant deaths (“Smoking During Pregnancy”). The placenta connects from the uterus to the developing fetus, giving the baby the nutrients and oxygen it needs to grow. When a mother inhales the poisonous gases from the cigarette, they travel into the mother’s blood stream and through the placenta into the fetus. While this
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