No Guts all Glory!

Gastroschisis / NEC / Short Bowel Syndrome / Omegaven


What is Gastroschisis?

Gastroschisis is a birth defect that causes some or all of a baby’s intestine (or other organs) to protrude through a hole in their belly.  Usually it is to the right of the umbilical cord.

How common is it?

What causes Gastroschisis?

Gastroschisis occurs about 1 in every 5000 births in the US.  Their are pockets of the country that do have higher numbers. I can’t find any reliable data though on what the numbers are and where it is highest.

This is the cause explainied by Children's Hospital Boston. Normally, during early development, the intestines, stomach and liver protrude to the outside of the body. As the fetus grows, these organs are "pulled in" and the abdominal wall forms around them. This does not occur in gastroschisis.

Yah but really, what causes it?  No one knows for sure but their are several studies going on that are linking it to environmental factors. 

This first one is an agricultural chemical atrazine that is also used on golf courses.  I lived on a golf course when I got pregnant with Genevieve but I haven’t been able to find out if they use atrazine or not.

There have been studies saying that it is usually young mothers (under 20) and on their first pregnancy who’s babies have gastroschisis.  I was 30 and I was on my forth pregnancy.

Male babies are more likely to have it that females.  Genevieve is obviously female. 

According to the Texas department of health, one investigation has suggested a link between increased gastroschisis risk and commercial and sales work . Another study found an association between gastroschisis and maternal exposure to solvents and colorants.  A different one shows a link to aspirin use.

Mothers who smoke, drink, or use drugs have a higher likelihood of having a baby with this birth defect.  I don’t do any of these. 

Here is a list of other possible causes but none of them have been proven or disproven as of yet.