What Are Some Physical Birth Defects?


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Club foot, cleft lip, spina bifida, and missing or undeveloped limbs are some physical birth defects. Down syndrome and Fragile X syndrome are also birth defects, according to Parents magazine.

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Club foot occurs in 1 in 400 newborns, and especially in boys. It involves ankle and foot deformities. Cleft lip appears in 1 in 700 Caucasian babies as either a notch or deformity in the upper lip, nostril floor and dental arch. Spina bifida symptoms can range from mild to severe, causing leg paralysis and bladder control problems, explains Parents.com.

Down syndrome symptoms include slanted eyes, small ears that fold over, small mouth and nose, short neck, and small hands and fingers. Over 50 percent of people born with Down syndrome have vision or hearing complications. Fragile X syndrome affects 1 in 1500 males, notes Parents magazine, and physical symptoms include long ears, an elongated face, cleft palate and autistic-like tendencies.

One out of 33 newborns in the United States have some type of birth defect. Most birth defects are noticeable within the first three months of pregnancy. Birth defects are the result of genetics, lifestyle choices and behaviors, and chemical or medication exposures. The exact cause of many birth defects is unknown, but a family history of birth defects, drug and alcohol use, and untreated infections increase the risk, according to Healthline.

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