What Is Spina Bifida?
Spina Bifida, or “split spine,” is a condition that occurs in the embryo within the first month of pregnancy; it results from an incomplete closure of the spinal column. Spina Bifida is the most frequently occurring permanently disabling birth defect. Every day in the US, an average of eight babies are affected by Spina Bifida or a similar birth defect of the brain and spine.
What Causes Spina Bifida?
The cause of Spina Bifida is not known with certainty. However, scientists believe that geneti Many things can affect a baby, including family genes and things women may come in contact with during pregnancy. Taking folic acid cannot guarantee having a healthy baby, but it can help.
Many things can affect a baby, including family genetics and things women may come in contact with during pregnancy. Taking folic acid cannot guarantee having a healthy baby, but it can help reduce the risk of neural tube defects like Spina Bifida.
What is folic acid?
Folic acid is a B-vitamin that helps build healthy cells. During periods of rapid growth, such as pregnancy and fetal development, the body's requirement for this vitamin increases. Research has shown that if all women who could possibly become pregnant were to take a multivitamin with folic acid, the risk of neural tube defects like Spina Bifida could be reduced by up to 70%. Since Spina Bifida occurs early in pregnancy, often before a woman knows she is pregnant, it is important to take folic acid every day. Taking folic acid before and during early pregnancy reduces the risk of Spina Bifida and other neural tube defects.
National Spina Bifida Awareness Month
Spina Bifida Association
4590 MacArthur Boulevard NW, Suite 250
Washington, DC 20007-4226
(202) 944-3295 Fax
Contact: Amanda Darnley