Skip to Content

Join the 'Spina bifida' group to help and get support from people like you.

Spina bifida News

Related terms: Myelomengocele

Women Falling Short on Birth Defect Prevention

Posted 13 Oct 2017 by

FRIDAY, Oct. 13, 2017 – Only a third of women are taking a multivitamin containing folic acid – a nutrient known to prevent serious birth defects – before they know they're pregnant, a new survey has found. The poll, conducted by the March of Dimes, also revealed significant racial disparities: Just 10 percent of black women and 27 percent of Hispanic women of childbearing age report taking multivitamins with folic acid before pregnancy. "One of the things that's striking for us is how much more we need to make sure women understand the importance of being healthy before pregnancy," said Stacey Stewart, president of the March of Dimes Foundation. "Half of all pregnancies are unexpected, which means women of childbearing age need to be doing all they can to be healthy in the event they do get pregnant," she said. In the United States, more than 120,000 babies – about 3 percent of all ... Read more

Related support groups: Birth Control, Contraception, Folic Acid, Female Infertility, Ovulation Induction, Vitamin/Mineral Supplementation during Pregnancy/Lactation, Spina bifida, Primary Ovarian Failure, Follicle Stimulation, Labor and Delivery including Augmentation, Cyanocobalamin/Folic Acid/Pyridoxine/Strontium Gluconate, Ortho D, Hemocyte-F, Focalgin-B, Folvite, Nephro-Fer RX, Ferrous Fumarate/Folic Acid, Ferrous Fumarate/folic Acid/docusate, Ed Cyte F, B-Nexa

Risk of Death Due to Birth Defects Higher If Baby Covered by Medicaid

Posted 26 Jan 2017 by

THURSDAY, Jan. 26, 2017 – Severe birth defects cause about one in every five infant deaths in the United States. Now, new research finds that the odds for one of these tragic events rise if a newborn is covered by Medicaid rather than private insurance. For babies born at term, deaths due to birth defects "were approximately 45 percent higher for deliveries covered by Medicaid than those covered by private insurance," said a team led by Lynn Almli. She's from the National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities, part of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Medicaid is the publicly funded insurance program for the poor. Severe birth defects are rare, but can include heart defects; central nervous system defects such as spina bifida; or chromosomal abnormalities that can result in severe mental and/or physical disabilities. The new study sought to determine ... Read more

Related support groups: Delivery, Hydrocephalus, Spina bifida, Brain Anomalies incl Congenital, Cesarean Section, Labor and Delivery including Augmentation

Heart Birth Defects Dropped After Folic Acid Was Added to Food

Posted 29 Aug 2016 by

MONDAY, Aug. 29, 2016 – The introduction of folic acid-fortified foods in Canada was associated with a decrease in babies being born with heart defects, a new study found. Researchers reviewed data from nearly 6 million births in Canada. The births occurred between 1990 and 2011. Folic acid food fortification became mandatory for all types of flour, enriched pasta and cornmeal in 1998 in Canada. During the study period, there was an 11 percent decline in rates of congenital heart defects overall. But decreases weren't seen in all types of heart defects present at birth. The biggest declines – between 15 percent and 27 percent – were in structural defects of the heart, such as holes in the wall of the heart or a narrowing of the major artery (the aorta) that carries blood to the body from the heart, the investigators found. But, there was no reduction in heart defects at birth caused ... Read more

Related support groups: Birth Control, Contraception, Emergency Contraception, Postcoital Contraception, Anemia, Folic Acid Deficiency, Vitamin/Mineral Supplementation during Pregnancy/Lactation, Spina bifida, Brain Anomalies incl Congenital

Folic Acid Now Added to Corn Masa Flour: FDA

Posted 17 Jun 2016 by

FRIDAY, June 17, 2016 – Adding folic acid to corn masa flour could help reduce birth defects among Hispanic babies in the United States, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration says. The FDA recently approved the addition of folic acid, a B vitamin, to corn masa flour, which is used in foods such as tortillas, tacos, tortilla chips and tamales. "By adding folic acid to corn masa flour, we have the opportunity to impact a large segment of the U.S. population and protect parents and their children from the devastating birth defects that are linked to insufficient folic acid consumed by the mother before and during pregnancy," said Dr. Jonca Bull, director of the FDA's Office of Minority Health. When consumed by pregnant women, folic acid is known to lower the risk of a baby being born with neural tube defects, which affect the brain, spine and spinal cord. While folic acid has long been ... Read more

Related support groups: Folic Acid, Hydrocephalus, Vitamin/Mineral Supplementation during Pregnancy/Lactation, Spina bifida, Brain Anomalies incl Congenital, Calcium/folic Acid/ginger/pyridoxine, Hemocyte-F, Folic Acid/lactobacillus Casei, Ethinyl Estradiol/folic Acid/levonorgestrel, Nephro-Fer RX, Cyanocobalamin/Folic Acid/Pyridoxine/Strontium Gluconate, Ortho D, Ed Cyte F, Focalgin-B, Tandem F, Folvite, Ferrocite F, Ferrous Fumarate/folic Acid/docusate, B-Nexa, Hematinic with Folic Acid

Mom's Healthy Diet Linked to Lower Heart Defect Risk at Birth

Posted 25 Aug 2015 by

TUESDAY, Aug. 25, 2015 – Women who eat healthy diets prior to pregnancy are less likely to have a baby born with a heart defect, researchers report. Women who followed a very healthy diet were 37 percent less likely than those who ate poorly to have a baby with tetralogy of Fallot, a complex heart defect that causes babies to turn blue because their blood can't carry enough oxygen. The women also were 23 percent less likely to have a baby born with an atrial septal defect, or a hole in the wall that separates the top two chambers of the heart, the study found. Women and their babies benefited most from a diet rich in vegetables, fruits, nuts, legumes, whole grains and fish, with limited intake of dairy, meat and sweets, the researchers found. Foods rich in nutrients like folic acid, iron and calcium were also considered healthy, the study authors said. "The more you went up in diet ... Read more

Related support groups: Delivery, Premature Labor, Spina bifida, Coagulation Defects and Disorders, Labor and Delivery including Augmentation

Neural Tube Defects, Such as Spina Bifida, on the Decline: CDC

Posted 15 Jan 2015 by

THURSDAY, Jan. 15, 2015 – Serious birth defects of the brain and spine called neural tube defects have fallen 35 percent in the United States since mandatory folic acid fortification of enriched grain products was introduced in 1998, federal officials reported Thursday. That decrease means 1,300 fewer babies are born annually with neural tube defects such as spina bifida, the most common neural tube defect that, in severe cases, can cause partial or complete paralysis of the parts of the body below the waist. However, even with folic acid fortification some women don't get enough of the B vitamin, especially Hispanic women, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The agency said all women of childbearing age – even if they're not planning to get pregnant – need to get 400 micrograms of folic acid daily from fortified foods, supplements, or both, and to ... Read more

Related support groups: Spina bifida

Blood Test Might Help Prevent Certain Birth Defects

Posted 29 Jul 2014 by

TUESDAY, July 29, 2014 – A simple blood test could help prevent neural tube birth defects such as spina bifida, new research finds. The test would measure the concentration of folate (a form of vitamin B) in a pregnant women's red blood cells. The findings from this study – conducted by an international team of scientists – could help doctors predict the risk of serious birth defects known as neural tube defects because folate is vital to the proper development of a growing fetus. In addition to naturally occurring folate found in food, a synthetic form of folate known as folic acid is also available in fortified foods and supplements. Although taking folic acid supplements during pregnancy is known to reduce the risk of neural tube defects, it's unclear how much of this nutrient is needed to prevent them. The current recommendation is that pregnant women consume 400 micrograms of ... Read more

Related support groups: Spina bifida

Some Painkillers Tied to Certain Birth Defects in Study

Posted 10 Sep 2013 by

TUESDAY, Sept. 10 – Women taking prescription painkillers such as Oxycontin, Vicodin and Percocet early in pregnancy are twice as likely to give birth to babies with devastating neural tube defects such as spina bifida, a new study suggests. Despite the doubled risk, researchers described the escalation as "modest" since neural tube defects – which include those of the brain and spine – seldom occur. With study participants' use of prescription opioids, the risk of these birth defects translated to a prevalence of nearly six per 10,000 live births. "We want to keep in mind that major birth defects of any kind affect only 2 percent to 3 percent of live births, so the risks we've identified should be kept in perspective," said study author Mahsa Yazdy, a postdoctoral associate at Slone Epidemiology Center at Boston University. "Even though we found a doubling in the risk of neural tube ... Read more

Related support groups: Pain, Oxycodone, Hydrocodone, OxyContin, Vicodin, Norco, Codeine, Lortab, Roxicodone, Acetaminophen/Hydrocodone, Tylenol with Codeine, Cheratussin AC, Tylenol with Codeine 3, Vicoprofen, Acetaminophen/Oxycodone, Hydromet, Statuss, Tussionex Pennkinetic, Vicodin ES, Lorcet 10/650

Mom's Healthy Diet Might Cut Birth Defect Risk

Posted 3 Oct 2011 by

MONDAY, Oct. 3 – Pregnant women who eat a healthy diet appear to reduce the risk of having a baby with a major birth defect, such as spina bifida or a cleft lip or palette, a new study suggests. Neural tube birth defects – including spina bifida and other brain abnormalities – are known to decrease when pregnant women take supplements of folic acid, a type of vitamin B that also has been added to a variety of foods. However, folic acid alone does not prevent all birth defects, the researchers said. "There may be certain qualities of foods that have benefits that aren't captured by examining just one nutrient at a time," said lead researcher Suzan L. Carmichael, an associate professor of pediatrics at Stanford University. Diet could also be related to reducing birth defects because a combination of nutrients from a variety of foods may act together in a beneficial way, Carmichael ... Read more

Related support groups: Dietary Supplementation, Spina bifida

Ask a Question

Further Information

Related Condition Support Groups

Neurologic Disorder