Birth defect /congenital anomalies may result in health problems such as physical disability, intellectual disability, or developmental disability. Severity may vary from mild to severe. They are divided into two main types: structural birth defects in which there is problem with the shape of a body part and functional birth defects in which there is problem with how a body part works. Some birth defects include problems of both types.
Birth defects may result from genetic or chromosomal problems, exposure to certain medications or chemicals, or certain infections during pregnancy. Risk factors include not enough essential nutrients like folic acid, choline etc drinking alcohol or smoking during pregnancy, poorly controlled diabetes, and a mother over the age of 35 years old. Many are believed to involve a number of factors. Birth defects may be diagnosed by screening tests before birth or diagnosed after birth.
If diagnosed before birth structural anomalies like cleft lip and palate can be corrected with cell activation support with optimized nutrient food and oxyflex. If diagnosed after birth treatment varies depending on the defect in question. This may include physiotherapy, medication, surgery, or assistive technology. Birth defects affected about 96 million people as of 2015.
Human life is maintained by a series of chemical reactions and nutrients absorbed from food we eat are the raw material for the chemical reactions happening in the body. The process of growth and development of sperm and egg to a new born baby at the end of 38 weeks, after conception is dependent totally on mothers food and delivery of it through placenta to baby via umbilical cord. Any deficiency or excess of nutrients in mothers food will affect the foetus directly as malnutrition and indirectly by affecting the immune system of mother leading to infection or complications of pregnancy like gestational diabetes. Toxic insult in the form of air and water pollution, food additives, cosmetics, recreational drugs like alcohol, tobacco etc, medications, infection on mother etc can affect the growth and development of the foetus. The extent of damage depends on the intensity of the problem and the developmental stage of the foetus at which it occurred.
What can we do?
First step to prevent birth defects has to be started at least 3 months before conception. Proper planning for pregnancy by consciously correcting the lifestyle and continuing it throughout pregnancy can prevent congenital anomalies/ birth defects to a large extent.
If a birth defect is diagnosed during pregnancy by anomaly screening at 16 week gestation, there is a provision for the couple to opt for medical termination of pregnancy before 20 weeks as per current Indian laws and avoid giving birth to a compromised baby. Some anomalies can be surgically corrected after birth like cleft lip/ palate, hydrocephalus, heart disease etc.
Structural anomalies like cleft lip, cleft palate, hydrocephalus, scoliosis etc if detected early in pregnancy, there is a possibility of preventing the progress and even reversal of defect by correcting the lifestyle especially food and nutrition. A detailed history, physical checkup and investigations to find out the nutritional deficiency to be done. Corrective measures to be taken as per need. Pregnancy oriented cell activation along with optimized nutrient food support can provide sufficient nutrients to the growing child. Possibility of toxic insult to be looked for and to be avoided. Follow up investigations for the extent of correction of deficiencies to be done and supplementary dosage of nutrients to be adjusted. Follow up ultrasound scan will show the extent of correction, there is a good chance of correction by around 6 -8 weeks of starting cell activation. Even if the detected structural anomaly is corrected after a few weeks of starting Cell Activation, lifestyle correction and cell activation practice to be continued till delivery and preferably during lactation especially in the first 6 months to ensure enough nutrients to the baby.
Externally detectable problems of foetus is only the tip of the iceberg. Food and lifestyle of the mother has a major impact on many problems of the child like cognitive ability, vision, psychological problems like autism etc . Lifestyle correction with Cell Activation starting before conception and continuing throughout pregnancy and lactation can help to ensure better health for the child.