All health begins with awareness. You don’t know you are sick unless you know the symptoms of being sick. That’s why you talk to your doctor when you think something is wrong.

But it’s not as simple with our children. They can’t tell a parent or a pediatrician when something is wrong. This worries every parent – and we begin worrying even before the child is born.

A slew of health problems can begin to take shape as a child is developing in the womb. These may be minor ailments, or they may be ones that prevent your child from living a normal life. We’ve all heard of babies born with Down’s syndrome, cerebral palsy or a horrible birth defect, and it’s normal to worry about this if you are expecting a child.

So you need to be aware. You are the only voice your child has in the earliest stages of life. Mounting evidence indicates there are many steps you can take to minimize the risk of having a child with a birth defect. Knowing the facts is your responsibility.

And yet, some defects have no known cause. Even if you take every precaution, it is still possible to have a child with a birth defect, unfortunately.

If this happens to your family, you need all the information you can get.