Spina Bifda is the incomplete formation of the spine. It is the nation’s most common, permanently disabling birth defect causing: -partial paralysis -loss of bowel and bladder control -hydrocephalus (fluid on the brain) -learning disabilities
Each year about 3,000 pregnancies are affected by birth defects of the spine and brain called neural tube defects (NTDs)- that’s 7 out of every 10,000 newborns. Spina Bifda, a type of NTD, occurs between the 3rd and 4th week of pregnancy—before most women know they are pregnant.
The average total lifetime cost of care for each infant born with Spina Bifda is approximately $532,000- for children here in New Jersey, the total cost is often over $1,000,000.
95% of babies with Spina BiĮda and other neural tube defects are born to parents with no family history of these disorders.
Studies suggest if women were to consume 400 micrograms of the B-vitamin folic acid before and during early pregnancy, neural tube defects like Spina BiĮda may be reduced by up to 70%.
Women who have a history of NTDs like Spina Bifida need to take 4000 micrograms of folic acid via prescription daily for a few months before becoming pregnant and during the first few months of pregnancy.