Know Your Family Health History
Certain health problems run in ethnic groups and cultures. If you have a family history of health problems or birth defects, your future children may be at risk.
Talk with your health care provider, a social worker, or other health professional if you have the following concerns or conditions:
- High blood pressure
- History of cancer
- Thalassemia or Sickle Cell disease
- Tay Sachs disease
- Cystic Fibrosis
- Cognitive or intellectual disabilities
Also, if you have had a child with spina bifida, you are at greater risk of having another child with the disease. The risk of having a child with a cleft lip and/or palate is increased if you have a family history. If you have a family history of Down syndrome or another chromosomal or genetic abnormality, consult a genetic counselor to determine your risk. Finally, having children with a blood relative may increase the risk of having a child with a genetic disorder or birth defect.