Spina Bifida Awareness Month

Spina Bifida Awareness Month

by Posted on: October 22, 2012Categories: LiveWell 24/7   

Good morning! According to the CDC website, October is Spina Bifida Awareness Month.

Spina bifida is one of the most common permanently disabling birth defects in the United States. Spina bifida happens when the spine and back bones of a fetus (a baby still in the mother’s womb) do not close all the way. A sac of fluid comes through an opening in the baby’s back. Much of the time, part of the spinal cord is in this sac, and it is damaged. This occurs within the first few weeks of pregnancy, often before a woman knows she is pregnant.

Each year about 1,500 babies are born with spina bifida. Not all people born with spina bifida have the same needs, so treatment will be different for each person. Health issues can range from mild to severe.  The severity depends on the size and location of the opening in the spine, and whether part of the spinal cord and nerves are affected. Women who are pregnant, or could get pregnant, may be able to help prevent their babies from being born with spina bifida by taking the vitamin folic acid.

Most children born with spina bifida live full lives, though they often have lifelong disabilities and need many surgeries. Some children may have problems such as bowel and bladder management, mobility, and learning challenges, while other children do not. With the right care, most of these children can lead independent and productive lives.



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