Bizarre birth defect is on the rise, and researchers are baffled

CDC epidemiologist Suzanne Gilboa said a number of federally funded studies were tracking pregnant women and their babies "to dig into the 'why'" of gastroschisis. Researchers have just a few clues to guide their hunt, she said: Mothers who consumed alcohol or used tobacco during pregnancy are at greater risk of having a baby with gastroschisis, as are women who had a sexually transmitted disease during pregnancy or who were underweight before pregnancy.