If you or someone you know is experiencing a mental health crisis, call 988 for 24/7 free and confidential crisis support. You do not have to be suicidal to call. Access more info and resources on suicide prevention, emotional and mental health support.
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Spina bifida is a birth defect in which the bones of the spine (vertebrae) don't form properly around the spinal cord. If it's severe, part of the spinal cord or spinal nerves may be exposed. This can cause nerve damage and lead to serious problems, so surgery may be needed soon after birth. But in most cases, the condition is mild and hidden, and it doesn't cause problems.
Spina bifida develops early in pregnancy, often before you know you're pregnant. You can reduce your chance of having a baby with spina bifida by eating a healthy diet and taking folic acid supplements before and during pregnancy.
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