Friday, October 15, 2010
October is Spina Bifida Awareness Month
In honor of my wonderful new son, Ronnie, I am pleased to share the following spina bifida awareness information:
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, the Spina Bifida Association is asking folks to take a few minutes today and get involved in the awareness month by educating loved ones.
The first question many have: What exactly is Spina Bifida? In short, Spina Bifida happens when the spinal column doesn't close completely.
And how many births each day are affected? Well, it's hard to believe, but eight births each day are affected by Spina Bifida or a similar birth defect of the brain and spine. If you think about it, 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 to take proper precautions to help try to prevent it now.
Okay. So what type of precautions can help in prevention, you may wonder?
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.
Families with a history of Spina Bifida should take extra dosages of folic acid prior to pregnancy. Hear one mom's message:
And in honor of October's Spina Bifida Awareness Month, the Spina Bifida Association will also be launching some great new online resources, including:
SB University (SBU) (www.sbuniversity.org), a new online educational program featuring taped sessions from the 2010 National Conference as well as monthly live seminars conducted by Spina Bifida medical professionals from around the country. During Awareness Month, SBU will debut new sessions each Monday.
SBTween2Teen (www.sbtween2teen.org) a new Web site for tweens and teens with Spina Bifida. Complete with blogs, videos, real stories, fact sheets, and an Ask the Expert feature, the interactive site helps tweens and teens navigate the difficult road to adulthood. There is even a social networking component run through Facebook, allowing tweens and teens to interact with one another and build peer-to-peer relationships!
Preparations, a new transition-focused Web site launching in late October allowing parents, caregivers, and clinicians to answer specific questions with regard to a child's developmental milestones. This tool can even help young adults remedy some transitional challenges.
For even more information, tips and resource, you may visit: www.spinabifidaassociation.org
And be sure to join the Spina Bifida Association on Facebook: www.facebook.com/spina.bifida.learn