• Child Birth Defects Impacting Mental Health of Parents
  • August 7, 2017
  • Parents have one of the hardest jobs in the world – raising a child. The stress of this job greatly increases when the child is born with a birth defect. Parents of children born with birth defects have a long list of responsibilities when it comes to caring for their children, and the stress can build to enormous levels. There has been significant birth defects research, but very little research has been conducted on the mental health of the parents with the responsibility of caring for these children.

    What Do Early Studies Say About the Mental Health of Parents Raising Children with Birth Defects?

    Early studies indicate that a large percentage of the parents of children with birth defects, such as congenital heart defects, suffer heightened levels of trauma. These parents have shown symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, and anxiety. Parents of children with birth defects are constantly worried about their child’s health – whether their child will survive, whether their child will be able to develop physically and mentally, and whether their child will get to fully enjoy their life. These concerns weigh heavily on a parent’s mind, and can cause their mental health to suffer. Renewed focus on the mental health of parents caring for a special-needs child is critical.

    More Focus on Parents’ Mental Health is Needed

    Greater focus on the mental health of parents of children with birth defects, such as congenital heart defects, is needed. Very little research has been conducted on the subject, but the early studies indicate that the parents of these children are suffering mentally. While research on birth defects is important to determine the cause of developmental abnormalities and how to best treat them, additional research needs to be done on the link between child birth defects and parents’ mental health. This additional research will provide insight as to the exact mental services that parents need in order to cope with the stresses that accompany caring for a child with birth defects – parents certainly deserve appropriate care and support.

    What Else Can Be Done for Parents Raising Children with Birth Defects?

    There are many causes of birth defects. One cause of birth defects is exposure to toxic chemicals in the workplace. For example, there is a strong link between pesticide exposure and risk of congenital heart defects. These birth defects are not the result of nature, but rather the result of negligence on behalf of corporations for exposing workers to dangerous chemicals without adequate protection. Birth defects due to pesticide exposure and other unnatural causes, such as exposure to chemicals during the production of semiconductors, need to be stopped. The birth defect attorneys at Waters Kraus & Paul are determined to fight for justice for those families that have suffered from birth defects caused by exposure to toxic chemicals in the workplace.