What might the future hold for your baby
Receiving a diagnosis for your baby like Spina Bifida and all it entails can be overwhelming and you may feel uncertain about the future.
However thanks to new medical treatments and technology, and better support systems, most people born with Spina Bifida are expected to live normal and fulfilled lives.
They may have some special challenges but their condition does not define who they are. They still have dreams and determinations to reach their goals; they hold diverse and meaningful jobs; they get married and have families; and they go on to make significant contributions to their communities.
There are people with Spina Bifida who are world-class athletes, politicians, actors, writers, musicians and doctors. They help to educate society about what is possible, and to be a part of that journey is extremely rewarding.
Practical points for new parents
- Your new baby is a little person not a collection of medical labels.
- Breast feeding or breast milk is the preferred food for your baby.
- Most babies will feed well. If your baby starts to have choking spells or develops noisy breathing, it is important that you tell someone quickly.
- Your baby’s bowels and bladder will work differently to other babies. Use of abdominal massage and breast milk will help to keep the bowels moving early.
- You may find nappy rash difficult to treat, especially when the bladder and bowel ‘leak’ all the time. Start treatment with zinc and castor oil, then try creams containing Dimethicone eg. Cavlion, In general terms, the thicker and greasier the better.
- Part of your baby’s legs and feet may be numb and get cold easily. It is important to always have socks and booties on for protection and to check the feet and legs for injury or pressure areas daily.