what's hot around the web

baby registry

need to buy a gift?

Find baby registries (at top retailers!) and websites with one easy search.

you asked...

Q&A: What is spina bifida?

What is spina bifida, and how can I prevent it?

Re: What is spina bifida, and how can I prevent it?

The Bump Expert

Spina bifida is a birth defect in a baby's neural tube. The best preventative method is to take a folic acid supplement in the weeks before and after baby's conceived. It's important to do this if you're trying to conceive because baby's neural tube closes around days 49 to 56 -- and often, that's about the time women realize they're pregnant.

You should be taking a minimum of 400 micrograms of folic acid -- most prenatal vitamins have about 800 micrograms. Some women who are at higher risk for having a baby with spina bifida, like those with diabetes or who've previously had a baby with a neural tube defect, will be prescribed a higher dose of folic acid (usually about four milligrams -- that's 10 times as much). Certain medications, like antiseizure meds, could put your baby at risk for neural tube defects, so be sure to run anything you're taking past your doctor.

Laura Riley, MD, ob-gyn, Director of Labor and Delivery at Massachusetts General Hospital and author of You & Your Baby: Pregnancy

Q&A: What is spina bifida?

If you have the gene in your family there is no sure fire way to prevent it but the best method is like the answer states. I have Spina Bifida myself, and have the gene in my family (I will be tested next month to see if I am a carrier of the gene) and they just doubled my folic acid intake from what a normal pregnancy would require. If you are more than 7-8 weeks pregnant, chances are either your baby has it or doesn't. Most of the time though if there is no family history, and you have prenatal care from the beginning there is absolutely nothing to worry about :) Just take care of yourself and don't skip your vitamins.

mego1988 |