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Thursday, October 28, 2010

Spina Bifida Awareness Month is October

Did you know that birth defects occur in 7 out of every 10,000 live births in the U.S.?  And Spina Bifida is the most common permanently disabling birth defect?  In honor of October being Spina Bifida Awareness Month, I’m reaching out on behalf of the Spina Bifida Association to ask everyone to take a few minutes today to get involved by educating loved ones. 

So what exactly is Spina Bifida?  The short version of it: Spina Bifida happens when the spinal column doesn't close completely. It’s hard to believe that eight births each day are affected by Spina Bifida or a similar birth defect of the brain and spine. Think of it this way, there are currently over 65 million women in the U.S. who could become pregnant and each one of these ladies is at risk of having a baby born with Spina Bifida.  

So because Spina Bifida occurs during the first month of pregnancy (that’s even before most women know they’re pregnant!) it is that much more important, as a woman, to take proper precautions to help try to prevent it now.  

Okay. So what type of precautions can help in prevention, you ask?  Although at this time there is no known cause of Spina Bifida, research has shown that if a woman takes 400 mcg of folic acid every day and before she becomes pregnant, she reduces her risk of having a baby with Spina Bifida or another neural tube defect by as much as 70%! 

That fact is reason enough to encourage women (and men) to get out there this month and spread awareness.  To hear one mom’s message, click here: www.youtube.com/watch?v=dC9KtJ1CnHk

And finally, SBA is launching great, online resources for parents, tweens and teens including transitional resources, social network involvement and even an online university for young adults. For even more information, tips and resources, you may visit: www.spinabifidaassociation.org

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