Facts about Spina Bifida

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  • 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.
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