A new study shows that  babies conceived in the spring and early summer have a higher risk of a wide variety of birth defects including downs syndrome, spina bifida and cleft palate.

“There appears to be a season of conception  in which the risk of having a child with a birth defect is higher,”  according to Indiana University School of Medicine neonatology professor Paul D. Winchester.  Studies in the past have shown an increase in pregnancy complications in women who live on farms and have exposure to high levels of pesticides, but this is the first study to show an increase in birth defects associated with indirect exposure to these chemicals.The affected children were not subjected to high levels of pesticides in a farm or factory setting.

There appears to be a correlation between levels of pesticides in the drinking water and the number of birth defects.  Pesticide levels are highest during April and babies conceived during April had the highest level of birth defects.   This study doesn’t prove a correlation between pesticides and birth defects, it does open the door for future discussion regarding this topic.  Currently there is a larger study underway which will look at 100,000 kids from birth to age 21.