Understanding the Different Types of Birth Defects

Baby is holding father's finger for the first time

Each year, thousands of babies born in the U.S. are diagnosed with birth defects. There is a wide range of different birth defects, which are broadly defined as any health condition that is present at birth. Birth defects can affect the function of one or more body parts, and they may sometimes affect the shape of a body part. If your child has been diagnosed with a birth defect, the care team at your community hospital can help you understand his or her condition. You can also explore treatment options at the surgery center of your local hospital.

Spina Bifida

If the physician at your hospital diagnoses your child with spina bifida, it means that he or she has a problem that involves the spinal cord. Spina bifida is a type of neural tube birth defect that occurs when the bones in the spine or the spinal cord fails to form properly. This leaves an opening and can result in damage to the spinal cord and nerves. In some cases, spina bifida has little effect on a child’s daily life, while in other cases, the condition is debilitating. However, treatment is available at your local hospital to help youngsters with spina bifida lead productive lives.


As the name implies, clubfoot is condition that involves the abnormal shape or position of a foot. Children born with clubfoot have tendons that are shorter than normal. This can occur in one or both feet. Since clubfoot can interfere with a child’s ability to walk, physicians generally recommend treatment shortly after birth.

Congenital Heart Defects

Congenital heart defects affect the function and structure of a child’s heart. These birth defects may be mild or severe. Sometimes, surgery is required to address the abnormality. Some examples of heart defects include atrial septal defect and ventricular septal defect.

The Family Birthing Center at Los Robles Hospital & Medical Center has been welcoming new members of our Thousand Oaks community since 1968. Within our spacious birthing suites, you’ll have access to compassionate, family-centered care, highly trained staff members, and our Level III Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) for babies with extra healthcare needs. Reach out to our hospital by calling (805) 497-2727 or explore the amenities at our Family Birthing Center on our website.