Birth Defects Essay, Research Paper
The issue of birth defects has been a growing problem in America.
More and more mothers are doing careless acts, which is slowly damaging
their unborn child. Many of these mistakes can be fixed. The leading
causes of birth defects is alcohol intake during birth, tobacco and drug
Many problems can occur when a mother drinks during pregnancy.
Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS) is the most reoccurring problem. There are
many ways to tell if a baby is affected by this syndrome. These include
birth weight under the tenth percentile, behavioral problems, and unusual
formation of the face. Children will have trouble with learning, attention,
problem solving, lack of coordination, and memory. Many of these
characteristics can not be determined until the child is well under age. Not
everyone who drinks during pregnancy will have a child that is diagnosed
with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. Other variables could effect the child as
well. A example of this is drug usage. In order to educate mothers about
problems that could occur from drinking alcohol, Congress and
communities have worked together. In 1988, a bill was passed that required
a warning label on all alcoholic beverages. This label consisted of all of the
birth defects that could occur from drinking.
Tobacco usage is very damaging, and even life threatening to a fetus.
Numerous problems could occur if a mother smokes while she is pregnant.
Some of these problems include preterm births, spontaneous abortion, and
low weight full term babies. Also, children can be greatly effected by
second hand smoke. Bronchitis, pneumonia, and other illnesses are just a
couple examples of what second hand smoke could do to a child. There
have been efforts all over the country trying to eliminate the sale of tobacco
products. Some of these efforts include restrictions on tobacco availability,
increasing the tax on tobacco, and , in some states there has been a ban on
cigarette vending machines. There has been many educational efforts made
to. One important program is D.A.R.E. This teaches children as well as
adults about the side effects of what tobacco and drugs could do to you.
The biggest problem related to birth defects is the use of drugs. A
study was done that showed approximately eleven percent of women used at
least one drug during their pregnancy. The most abused drugs include
heroin, methadone, amphetamines, PCP, marijuana, and cocaine. The worst
part is, is that when the baby is born they suffer withdrawal. Withdrawal
can be very hard on a adult. Imagine what it could do to a helpless infant.
Usually the infant shakes uncontrollably and needs certain amounts of the
drug that was taken. This helps the infant go through the withdrawal
process with less pain and suffering. Their are many treatment programs,
but the waiting lists and long and the mothers usually give up hope. Many
drug exposed infants will develop problems due to neglect and multiple
separations from the mother s drug use.
The over abuse of alcohol, tobacco, and drugs are contributing
problems to the rise of birth defects. All of which can be fixed with a little
effort. There are many organizations in America that were established to
help mother s with addictions. If the mother s really want what is best for
their child then they will at least make a attempt to overcome their