Abnormal Babies

Top 5 Causes for Congenitally Abnormal Babies

Every parent dreams of what their baby will be like when born; never is the dream that their child will be one of the many abnormal babies born each year.  Nonetheless, it does happen; a heartbreaking yet blessed experience in the miracles of birth.

Conception and birth are likely the most esteemed experiences in life.  While it occurs daily to millions of women, the absolute wonder and magic of the process never fails to amaze.  Though the miracle is one that happens automatically and without incident in most cases, there are many incidences of the process going wrong, with deviations to normal fetal development taking place.  There are just as many reasons for the deviances, sometimes remaining unexplained. From all of the problems that may ensue through pregnancies, there do emerge some common abnormalities that afflict newborns.  The top five are spina bifida, Down’s syndrome, congenital heart disease, cleft lip or palate and hydrocephalus.

Spina bifida

A birth defect that occurs during the first month of the fetus’s development, spina bifida is a defect of the spine.  The two sides of the spine should fuse together during this period, but for some unknown reason does not in some cases.  Two forms of the condition are known to occur:  occulta and manifesta.  In the less complicated spina bifida occulta, the spinal cord is not affected and the child generally never experiences any health issues.  Spina bifida manifesta could either affect the membranes covering the brain and spinal cord or, in the worst case scenario, these membranes could protrude through an opening in the back along with the spinal cord.  Children afflicted with this disorder may have paralysis and other related problems.

Down’s syndrome

The result of a chromosomal deviation, Down’s syndrome occurs when a baby develops 3 copies of the 21st chromosome, instead of the normal 2 copies.  Among chromosomal conditions, Down’s syndrome is the most common to afflict infants as abnormal babies.  These children are at greater risk of certain health conditions such as congenital heart defects, hearing problems, respiratory issues, leukemia and thyroid conditions.  Fortunately, these are treatable conditions; most individuals that have Down’s syndrome go on to live healthy lives.  There are common denominators among those with Down’s syndrome; smaller stature, poor muscle tone, upward slant of the eyes and a deep line in the center of each palm.

Congenital heart disease

This disease is actually the most common of all birth defects.  It can include a variety of heart tissue defects or valve defects that are generally the result of improper fetal development.  This is one area in which the miracle of conception is most unique; the heart of a fetus is markedly different from that of an individual who has been born.  Fetuses do not utilize their developing lungs, so pulmonary vessels are not part of their circulation system.  Blood passes directly from the right side of the heart to the left side of the heart via a deliberate hole, and an additional vessel is present alongside the aorta and the pulmonary arteries.  A number of defects can occur in this location among abnormal babies.



Oral-facial clefts occur when the soft tissue of the lips or mouth fail to develop in fetuses.  This defect happens to certain nationalities more than others; Asians, Latinos and Native Americans in particular.   The palates or lips of these fetuses do not contain adequate tissue to completely close the areas, so the defect exhibits an opening or a cleft.  Usually the defect is seen on only one side of the mouth, but can occur on both.


Water on the brain is the common term for this birth defect. Cerebrospinal fluid accumulate in the central nervous system; resulting in brain swelling.  The swelling pushes against the infant’s soft spot and brain tissue may be damaged.  The problem is the result of an abnormal flow of CSF.

The majority of babies born are absolutely perfect in every way; just as the parents have dreamt.  In some cases, something goes wrong during development, and abnormal babies result.  No less loveable and more highly treasured, these babies are truly appreciated by their parents as gifts of God.