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February has long been associated with hearts. Valentines Day, sweethearts, romance. For our family, now it is associated with broken hearts. Our sweet Jethro is a February baby, so we are going to have the joy of celebrating his first birthday this month, but it is also CHD awareness month. With the week of the 7-14 officially CHD awareness week. I am going to try to stay top of things this month and post facts about CHDs throughout.
Congenital heart defects are among the most common birth defects, affecting nearly 1 out of 100 babies in the United States. Some heart defects are mild, while others can be life-threatening. Other common birth defects include cleft lip/palate, Down syndrome and spina bifida (open spine), affecting about 1 in 700, 1 in 800 and 1 in 2,500 babies respectively.
I encourage you to stop and read the previous paragraph once again. There is a difference of 600 babies between CHDs and the next most common birth defect. Yet how many of us have heard, or are familiar with Down syndrome, or cleft lip/palate or even spina bifida. How many of us are ignorant of CHDs? And yet, the possibility of knowing or having a child with CHD is much more likely.