Pregnancy is often a difficult time. With hormonal imbalances, weight gain, fatigue, and nausea, trying to keep your emotions under control can be very difficult. But there are dozens of things for a pregnant woman to be worried about, including miscarriage, stillbirth, and birth defects in addition to the body changes that come along with carrying a baby.
Many birth defects, such as Trisomy 21, are entirely random. Some others, such as Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, are heavily related to the environment and the behavior of the mother. But medical science is unable to explain whether certain birth defects are random or caused by something else.
Gastroschisis, a birth defect that involves parts of the baby’s internal organs protruding near the belly button, is causing concern among healthcare professionals due its increasing prevalence. Doctors are at a loss to explain why this birth defect has become more common, with incidence rates rising by as much as 263 percent in certain demographics.
There are a number of potential causes, including:
- Viral cause, similar to the association between the Zika virus and microcephaly
- Maternal exposure to a hazardous substance
- A combination of young maternal age and other factors
Many professionals think the third cause is unlikely, as average maternal age is much higher now than at past points in history when this birth defect was much less common. So far, there have been no blood tests indicating that a virus is likely at fault. This leaves exposure to a toxic substance as a likely cause.
There are a variety of places you can be exposed to dangerous substances, but the most likely culprit for many women is the workplace. At work, people are surrounded by dozens of substances they know little about, and any of these could be the driving force for the higher rate of birth defect.
The other likely culprit is a medication that cleared trials but is not actually safe. If your child suffers a birth defect, it is important to determine if a hazardous substance was responsible. Please contact a qualified attorney who will know the right questions to ask to help you determine the cause of your child’s birth defect.