In most cases, the cause of congenital heart defects is unknown.
Congenital heart defects occur when a baby's heart fails to form properly during early pregnancy. Although scientists feel both genetic and environmental factors may play a role, they don’t know why congenital heart defects occur. What they do know is that congenital heart defects don’t discriminate. Your age doesn’t matter. Your race doesn’t matter. It even seems that to some extent, what you do while you are pregnant doesn’t matter. I have heard stories about women who drank, smoked and/or used drugs throughout pregnancy and gave birth to healthy babies. I have heard even more stories about mothers who did everything right during pregnancy and gave birth to babies with congenital heart defects. Like Sadie, some of those babies died in infancy. But for myself and (I assume at least some of) those mothers who gave birth to a baby with a CHD, there will be one question that will always remain – why did this happen to my baby? My hope is that someday there will be an answer to that question.