The Causes and Symptoms of Spina Bifida

Research has shown that mothers who have some form of prenatal education, and who are cared for by qualified physicians, have significantly lower risk pregnancies. Education is a key factor in preventing possibly severe birth defects such as, “spina bifida.” Each day an average of 11 babies are born with neural tubal disorders or NTD’s like spina bifida, or anencephaly. “Ninety-five percent of neural tube defects occur in women with no history of neural tube affected pregnancies.” NTD’s can occur early in pregnancy, often before a woman even knows she is pregnant. “In September, 1992, based on randomized control trials and observational studies, the United States Public Health Service published a recommendation, stating that “all women of childbearing age in the United States should consume 0.4 mg of folic acid daily to reduce the risk of having a pregnancy affected by a neural tube defect.” (The Spina Bifida Association of America 1). “Each year, 300,000 to 400,000 infants worldwide are born with spina bifida and anencephaly,” (Oakley S116). If new mothers, and even young women in general, were more educated about how their diet, and actions effect their babies, the number of cases of NTD’s would be greatly diminished.
Spina bifida occurs when the spine fails to close properly during thefirst few weeks of pregnancy. “The central nervous system and spine develop between the 14th and 28th day after conception” (Bloom 79). “Spina bifida occurs when there is a failure of development of the boney canal which surrounds the brain and spinal cord. In the spine, the affected vertebrae have a defect posteriorly (at the back) so that a boney ring does not completely surround the spinal cord. This leaves a gap so that, instead of the posterior arm being whole it is divided – that is bifid. The fault may occur in one or more of the vertebrae but it is most common around waist-level,” (Association for Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus 1). People …

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