People are often surprised to learn that birth defects are common, found in 1 in 33 newborns. Most of the time, doctors and scientists do not know what causes them. In fact, the causes of about 70% of all birth defects remain unknown. The National Birth Defects Prevention Study is the largest study in the U.S. looking at the causes of birth defects. Finding possible causes will benefit many families and babies in the future.
The study will not directly benefit the families that participate. However, many women feel good about helping to find causes of birth defects.
“I would definitely encourage everyone to participate. It’s very simple and it’s really vital.”
The study also benefits other researchers. It is important for researchers to see their results repeated. If we see a finding in several studies, we feel more confident about it.
“I felt that the information collected will be very beneficial to the researchers. Overall it was an enjoyable experience. It brought to my attention the different things that are important to pregnant women.”
“Research is essential to learning and if doctors can learn something from my pregnancy, my son’s condition, or our family genetics, then I feel it our duty to other families to contribute as much as we can to this study endeavor.”
The study benefits pregnant women and their health care providers. Any extra information about risk factors for birth defects can be used to inform their decisions.
“If your answers in this study will help prevent that from happening to another family, then you have to look at the good that can come.”
“I hope for a day when there are no new parents who have to hear, right after their child is born, that there is something wrong.”