A birth defect is a problem that happens while a baby is developing in the mother’s body. Most birth defects happen during the first 3 months of pregnancy. One out of every 33 babies in the United States is born with a birth defect.
A birth defect may affect how the body looks, works or both. Some birth defects like cleft lip or neural tube defects are structural problems that can be easy to see. To find others, like heart defects, doctors use special tests. Birth defects can range from mild to severe. Causes can include
For most birth defects, the cause is unknown.
Health care providers can diagnose certain birth defects during pregnancy, with prenatal tests. That’s why it important to get regular prenatal care. Other birth defects may not be found until after the baby is born. Sometimes the defect is obvious right away. Other times, the health care provider may not discover it until later in life.
Babies with birth defects often need special care and treatments. The treatments may include surgery, medicines, assistive devices, and therapies.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Ellis-van Creveld syndrome is an inherited disorder of bone growth that results in very short stature (dwarfism). People with this condition have particularly short forearms and lower legs and a narrow chest with short ribs. Ellis-van Creveld syndrome is also characterized by the presence of extra fingers and toes (polydactyly), malformed fingernails and toenails, and dental abnormalities. More than half of affected individuals are born with a heart defect, which can cause serious or life-threatening health problems.The features of Ellis-van Creveld syndrome overlap with those of another, milder condition called Weyers acrofacial dysostosis. Like Ellis-van Creveld syndrome, Weyers acrofacial dysostosis involves tooth and nail abnormalities, although affected individuals have less pronounced short stature and typically do not have heart defects. The two conditions are caused by mutations in the same genes.