According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one in 4,600 children in the United States have anencephaly.
what is neural tube
The neural tube forms and closes normally in the early weeks of pregnancy, and this helps to form the baby’s central nervous system. The upper part of the neural tube forms the brain and the lower part forms the spinal cord. Anencephaly occurs if the upper part of the neural tube fails to close.
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symptoms of anencephaly
Usually with anencephaly there are no cranial bones in the front of the skull, no bones in the back of the head, cleft palate or congenital heart defect.
In anencephaly, the child does not feel any pain and remains unconscious at the time of birth. He may also have other problems like deafness and blindness. This is due to the absence of cerebrum and cerebellum in the brain.
treatment of anencephaly
There is no cure for anencephaly. Doctors can provide supportive care according to the needs of each child. Even though anencephaly occurs during pregnancy, it cannot be treated in the womb. If anencephaly is detected early in pregnancy, the doctor may recommend an abortion.
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How to avoid anencephaly
Anencephaly cannot be prevented in most cases. However, by taking some precautions before becoming pregnant and in the early weeks of pregnancy, its risk can be reduced.
Preconception care and prenatal care can prove to be helpful for a healthy pregnancy and baby. Taking a folic acid supplement during pregnancy can reduce the risk of neural tube defects.
folic acid works
Eat foods rich in folic acid such as nuts, citrus fruits, green leafy vegetables, beans and fortified cereals. Start taking a folic acid supplement even before you conceive. Taking folic acid alone in the diet is not enough, so supplements have to be taken as well.
If you have one child with a neural tube defect, take extra folic acid before the second pregnancy. Start taking extra folic acid a month or two before conceiving.
Also read: If the child is always lethargic, there may be a risk of genetic disease
Other solutions will work
Before planning a baby, give up alcohol and take only the medicines prescribed by the doctor. Avoid taking a hot water bath during pregnancy as it can increase the risk of maternal hyperthermia.
If you have fever in pregnancy, get it treated by the doctor immediately.
To protect your baby from anencephaly, you should eat a healthy diet from pre-conception to nine months of pregnancy and take multivitamins on the advice of your doctor.