Spina bifida is a major birth defect of a baby's brain, spinal cord, and their protective covering. It happens when the baby’s spine does not close all the way during the first month of pregnancy. When this happens, the spinal cord and its protective covering may protrude through an opening in the baby's spine. Although the spinal opening can be repaired surgically, the nerve damage is permanent.
Spina bifida is one of the most common, permanently disabling birth defects in the United States. It is preventable; if a woman has enough folic acid in her body before and during pregnancy, her baby is less likely to have spina bifida or other defects of the brain or spine. Women need to take folic acid every day, starting before they get pregnant.
Spina bifida affects all people differently. Most children born with spina bifida live full lives, though they often have lifelong disabilities and need many surgeries. Some of the problems that a person born with spina bifida might face include:
Every woman who could possibly get pregnant should take 400 micrograms (400 μg or 0.4 mg) of folic acid daily in a vitamin or in foods that have been enriched with folic acid.
There is hope; there are those who listen and understand; and there are choices for those affected by disabilities. FVDD can help by offering research, link to news/updates page resources, link to resources page and support so that families and individuals can make informed choices. We advocate for dignity and choice for people with developmental disabilities. You are not alone. Contact Us for information or guidance.
“Know the person, not the disability; in fact look past the disability and you will see a person….”
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