Before you know the effects on Spina Bifida on your pregnancy it is first important to understand what Spina Bifida is. Spina Bifida is a neural tube defect that happens when the baby’s spine that is developing does not close properly. Myelomeningocele is the most severe as well as the more common form of Spina Bifida and when this happens then the spinal nerve builds in the back through an opening.
Women who have Spina Bifida have babies but they have to go through many pregnancy concerns as well as complications in birth.
What is the cause of Spina Bifida?
No single cause is known for the development of Spina Bifida. It happens when there is a complex interaction of some environmental and genetic factors. This happens early in pregnancy, almost by the fourth week of pregnancy. There is no clear indication of what causes these genetic factors. It is known that when a woman takes a supplement of folic acid then the risk of developing Spina Bifida during pregnancy is less. However this may not always be true,
Can Spina Bifida be prevented?
It is said that you can prevent Spina bifida by taking 400 micrograms of folic acid every day. Folic acid is a B-vitamin which is soluble in water and it helps in building healthy cells. It, however, does not stay long in the body and thus the woman has to take folic acid every day to prevent any risk of developing a neural tube defect.
What are some of the effects of Spina Bifida?
Every person could have a different effect because of Spina bifida.
- Children who develop the worst form of Spina bifida develop fluid in the brain and this is treated with surgery. A shunt is inserted into the brain to drain out the liquid and the shunt stays in the brain for life
- learning disability
- difficulty in controlling bowel or bladder
- partial paralysis
- sexual and social issues
What happens after the baby is born
The bay will be taken special care of after it is born. The spinal opening will be wrapped with a plastic wrap and sterile dressing and a drip will be attached to the arm of the baby to give it antibodies and fluids. The baby will be placed in an incubator. An operation may be done to drain the fluid or to remove the spine.
Depending on the severity of the condition the baby may need continuous care.
The woman who has Spina bifida may suffer from the infant as well as maternity complications it should be known that women with Spina bifida achieve pregnancy but the outcome is not well understood. There is a severe risk of the infant as well as maternal morbidity.