Birth Defects of the Neural Tube
When a birth defect occurs in relation to the neural tube, they will cause problems with either the brain or the spinal cord. These defects can cause issues for the baby because it can affect the way that their body works. While they are fairly rare, they do occur in about 3,000 pregnancies every year.
One of the best ways to reduce the chances of a neural tube birth defect is to make sure that you are taking the proper amount of folic acid. This will help the tube develop correctly during the first month of pregnancy. If the neural tube doesn’t fully close during this time, birth defects can occur.
The most common neural tube defect is spina bifida and it occurs in 1500 babies every year. This defect occurs when the bones of the vertebrae are not closed completely. Because of this, portions of the spinal cord will poke through the spine.
Anencephaly is also a neural tube defect and is the most severe. Babies with this defect are missing major portions of their brain, scalp or skull. Unfortunately, babies with this defect will not survive long after birth.
These birth defects are severe and sometimes treatment is not an option. For best results, make sure that you are consuming folic acid several months before you are ready to become pregnant. This will ensure that there is enough in your system to help prevent these types of birth defects.
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