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Raise awareness, encourage knowledge, and promote community support for children and adults who have this congenital defect by engaging with Spina Bifida Awareness Month!

History of Spina Bifida Awareness Month

Spina Bifida is a rare birth defect that has been affecting babies and their families for many centuries. The first description of this disorder was described in the late 1500s by a doctor in the Netherlands and the term “spina bifida” (which literally means “split spine”) was first used in the early 1600s.

This disorder happens in utero when the baby’s neural tube that connects the spine and the brain does not develop properly. The location where the Spina Bifida happens will determine how it impacts the person. Many times the neurological and motor functions may be impaired, including the use of the legs, as well as potential problems with the bladder or bowels.

It is important to remember that with the proper support, people who have Spina Bifida can live full and happy lives! 

Spina Bifida Awareness Month was founded by the Spina Bifida Association, which is a non-profit support organization that dates back to 1973. This event was established to raise awareness about the number of babies who are born with this congenital disability and to encourage education regarding the types, risk factors and resources for those affected by it.

How to Celebrate Spina Bifida Awareness Month

Get involved and connected with this important cause by celebrating Spina Bifida Awareness Month with some of these ideas:

Read Stories About Spina Bifida

Supported by the Spina Bifida Association, this month is a time when people who have spina bifida have opportunities to share their stories and experiences for the world to better understand. The association website publishes various stories to provide insight, as well as invitations for anyone with Spina Bifida to share their story.  

Learn Facts About Spina Bifida 

One of the important purposes behind Spina Bifida Awareness Month is to increase the public knowledge and education about this disorder. Get started celebrating by learning and sharing some interesting facts such as these:

  • Spina Bifida is the most common congenital birth defect that results in a disability

  • While there is no cure for Spina Bifida, there are treatment protocols and infants will usually need surgery

  • Spina Bifida occurs in the first 28 days of pregnancy, often before a woman even knows she is pregnant

  • The severity of Spina Bifida depends on where it occurs on the spine – the higher on the spine, the greater the complications


Support Families Affected by Spina Bifida

An excellent way to participate in Spina Bifida Awareness Month and show support to families might be to get involved with one of the charities that connects with affected families. Volunteer through community efforts or hospitals in honor of this event. Or make a donation to a charity that supports people affected by Spina Bifida, including the Spina Bifida Association in the US, the International for Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus, the Shine Charity in the UK, or the Spina Bifida Resource Network, among others.

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