About Spina Bifida
Over 250,000 Americans are in the Spina Bifida Community. An estimated 70,000 to 180,000 plus people in the United States are currently living with Spina Bifida, the most common permanently disabling birth defect. Spina Bifida is a neural tube defect that happens in the first month of pregnancy, often before the women realizes she’s pregnant, when the spinal column doesn’t close completely. There are 60 million women at risk of having a baby born with Spina Bifida. Everyday, an average of 8 babies are born that are affected by Spina Bifida or a similar birth defect of the brain and spine. Each year, about 3,000 pregnancies involve these birth defects.
The effects of Spina Bifida are different for every person. Up to 90 percent of children with the worst form of Spina Bifida have hydrocephalus (fluid on the brain) and must have surgery to insert a “shunt” that helps drain the fluid. The shunt stays in place for the lifetime of the person. Other conditions include full or partial paralysis, bladder and bowel control difficulties, learning disabilities such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and hand-eye coordination, depression, latex allergy and social and sexual issues.