The medical condition of a child with an unfavorable diagnosis before or after birth is called a congenital disorder, also called congenital defects.
The 3 most common causes of congenital disorders are due to:
- Hereditary traits
- Diseases in the prenatal life of the child
- Caused by environmental factors
They manifest as mild to life-threatening. A child born with a congenital disorder may experience a mental or physical disability or a combination of both.
So far, medicine has registered about 150 congenital disorders in children, but here we will talk about the most common ones and their causes.
Prenatal Development and Congenital Disorders in the Child
In the prenatal life, the child is at risk of various types of illnesses that can cause congenital disorder and leave a deep trace in their mental and physical development.
They originate from maternal non-physiological and pathological processes in her body or from the genetic make-up of both parents.
Placental Partition: A Pathological Barrier
Between the mother and the fetus, there is a partition membrane – the placenta. The maternal blood components should first pass this semi-conductive membrane through the placental uvulas in order to penetrate the fetus’s bloodstream.
Thus, the child receives food from the mother: oxygen, hormones, and other substances necessary for proper development.
But in the same way, harmful substances, pathogenic microorganisms that cause infectious diseases can enter the fetus and cause congenital disorders.
The Preterm Baby: A Cribby Babies
The baby is born scrubby, with a low body mass, or is born premature – before the 40th week of pregnancy. Such a baby is called preterm, it is not mature enough for life outside the mother’s body and is nonresistant to the harmful effects of the environment.
The Scrubby Babies: Early Symptoms of Congenital Disorders
The scrubby, premature babies often have less resistant mental apparatus. That’s why already during their first days of life they show signs of congenital disorders such as: psychic hypersensitivity, poor eating, manifest restlessness and often crying.
Later in life, they often suffer from speech disorders (stammering), they have some difficulty in movement and uncontrolled physiological needs.
Psychological Impairment due to Preterm Birth
It is impossible to determine with certainty how many psychological impediments are a result of the congenital disorders due to preterm, vs. the wrong treatment of the environment to the child since its first day of birth.
Preterm children’s parents are particularly prone to spoiling, their behavior is too protective, and not letting them gain independence, self-esteem and a real attitude toward life.
This is a sufficient reason for the child to become neurotic, hypersensitive, and poorly adjustable, although physically completely normally developed.
Rh-Factor and Its Blood Collide
Rh-factor is a protein that is otherwise contained in the blood in 85% of people of both sexes. If the child inherits from their father’s Rh-factor, then its and its mother’s blood will collide.
The human organism does not tolerate alien proteins and the immune system defenses from them.
Damage to children’s blood from the maternal defense system is manifested by severe jaundice in the newborn. If the child survives the disease, it is likely to remain half-witted or some of his movements will be impaired.
Iodine Deficiency in the Fetus and the Child
A deficiency of iodine in the mother’s body causes a deficiency of this mineral in the fetus, too. Then the baby is born goitrous, the thyroid gland swells and does not work properly. The child with such congenital disorder is more or less lagging behind in intellectual development.
Maternal Syphilis, Rubella, and Epilepsy
Maternal syphilis is more dangerous to the child if the disease is about to occur. If the infection is latent and shows no visible symptoms, it is usually not a hazard. From infectious diseases whose pathogens penetrate the placenta and infect the baby, the most common are syphilis and rubella.
The child sick of syphilis often dies even in the mother’s body, so she either aborts it or it is a stillborn child. If the baby survives this infection, the child may be: faint, blind, deaf, or suffering from epilepsy to various physical defects. Maternal syphilis certainly endangers the mental development of her child, so it should be cured as soon as possible.
Rubella is also dangerous for the fetus. For the mother, it is harmless, similar to measles. But the nervous system of the embryo is very sensitive to the presence of that virus in the blood. Usually, it blocks the further development of the brain, so the child is born half-witted, blind or deaf.
Painkillers in Pregnancy
If the mother during pregnancy takes too many different pain killers, for example, barbituric acid (Luminal, Phenobarbitone, etc), there is a risk that the respiratory center in the spinal cord of the newborn after the birth will work with a delay.
This is an anoxic state.
X-Rays in Pregnancy: Case of Microcephaly
Children of mothers exposed to X-rays during pregnancy are sometimes born with an unusually small brain and an incredibly small skull (microcephaly) There is growing assurance that the psychological conditions of the pregnant women are transmitted to the child. Negative emotions of the mother, such as anxiety, fear, dissatisfaction, depression, and others, damage the fetus.
Neurological Behavior in Children after Birth
A child’s neurotic behavior is mainly due to its self-built nervous system, and not to emotional difficulties that its mother had during pregnancy. If the mother was mentally disturbed during pregnancy, there is no likelihood that after birth her condition would be substantially altered. It is more likely that her mental problems will be intensified because she is now concerned with new responsibilities.
Unconsciously Refused to Be Pregnant and Worst of All: The Child as a Burden
If mother unconsciously refused to become pregnant – then it is likely that she will not love it even when the baby is born. If she thought that the child would be a burden before giving birth – then dissatisfaction would be even greater after giving birth. Such a mother is impatient with the child, nervous and does not know how to be gentle with him.
The Psycho-Hygiene in Children: The Prenatal Period
Modern child health care begins in the prenatal period, as it is known that many diseases, defects and anomalies in children can be successfully prevented only if they are suppressed before the child is born. The psycho-hygiene should be actively engaged in the child’s life even before its birth.
Prenatal care for children generally coincides with health care while the mother is pregnant. Above all, it is necessary for the woman during pregnancy to regularly visit a gynecologist.
If a woman has already been ill before conceiving, and with pregnancy has not penetrated more than 3-4 months, then, the infection of the fetus can be prevented.
During pregnancy, it is necessary for the mother to feed herself with high-value foods, meals that will be rich in animal proteins, vitamins, and minerals. At the genealogist, women can get directions about the content of the diet during pregnancy.
Maternal health checks can reveal various defects in the mother’s body, nutritional deficiencies that may endanger the fetus. In the case of vitamins, for example, if it is found that the maternal vitamin D level is low, it can be supplemented with a vitamin supplement – vitamin D to prevent the child to be rachitic.