The Mayo Clinic says spina bifida falls into a set of birth defects that affect the neural tube, which forms early in a pregnancy and is supposed to close by the 28th-day following conception.
In the case on spina bifida, the neural tube doesn’t fully form or close properly, which can be symptomless or result in more severe problems such as neurological impairment (such as muscle weakness and seizures), according to the clinic. Here are six possible risk factors for this particular birth defect…
1. Folic Acid Deficiency
AmericanPregnancy.org states, “Studies have shown that if all women who could become pregnant were to take a multivitamin with the B-vitamin folic acid, the risk of neural tube defects could be reduced by up to 70%”.
The source adds the recommended dose of folic acid is 400-micrograms per day, although a doctor may advise otherwise. It explains that folic acid is a water-soluble B-vitamin essential is building healthy cells, “but it does not stay in the body long”. Hence the need to take daily supplements.