What Are Birth Defects, and Are They All Genetic?
Birth defects are disorders that occur at birth, but not all of them are genetic. While some are caused by genetics, others are caused by changes in the chromosomal pattern when the fetus is developing. Other disorders are caused by the environment in which the baby exists or by injuries that occur during the delivery process. For example, Down’s Syndrome occurs when the chromosomes become faulty. It is not usually hereditary (passed from one generation to the next), while Huntington’s Disease passes from parent to child. Fetal Alcohol Syndrome occurs when the fetus is exposed to high levels of alcohol.