Pregnancy when you have spina bifida occulta
September 16, 2011 6:49 AM   Subscribe

Pregnancy when you have spina bifida occulta

Recently it was discovered that I have spina bifida occulta, discovered when a new osteopath x-rayed my back to find out what the flip was going on with the life long back pain, odd spine positioning and swelling (I'm only 22).

I've only had one visit to him since the diagnosis after we had discussions regarding things I could do to help lessen any pain or discomfort I get (mainly consisting of building up my core strength so it can support my spine).
So now knowing that my lower vertebrae aren't actually connected properly leads me to think, would being pregnant aggrevate this? Having the extra weight on a woman's lower back during pregnancy is stressful enough as it but with a back that isn't 100% all there would carrying a child be something that would just stuff my back totally in the future or even affect how my body carries a child?

My spine is rather lordotic anyway and it was discovered that due to the imbalance of my spine/hips and my body trying to make up for a lack of support, it has and is forming bone build ups (for lack of a better word) between the affected vetebrae as some sort of makeshift internal spinal support system - something which creates previously mentioned swelling and I've been told will limit movement when I'm a lot older.

I know it is something I should probably discuss with a doctor but a few cheap answers on the internet is more pleasing to my wallet right now (also I know it is a mild condition so I hope I'm not coming across as making a mountain out of a molehill!).
posted by sunshine arakhan to Health & Fitness (3 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
My wife has spina bifida occulta, is eight month pregnant and is fine from the odd backpain. but she has a very mild form and hardly notices. Hey don't forget the folic acid :-)
posted by laukf at 6:53 AM on September 16, 2011

I think this is a pretty specialised topic to be asking the internet, and really you should seek preconception counselling from an expert. I am an OBGYN but not your OBGYN etc etc. I haven't looked this up, and it's pretty far from my area of interest, but off the top of my head:

1. When you are thinking about conceiving you should discuss high dose folic acid with your doctors (5mg per day)

2. Once you are pregnant you should be reviewed by an obstetric anaethetist, as there is potential concern about administration of epidural or spinal anaethesia

3. In general I would not be overly concerned about either short or long term exacerbation of your back pain, at least not relative to the general pregnant population.

4. Osteopathy is completely unproven as a treatment for back pain and you should seek advice from a conventional doctor.
posted by roofus at 8:59 AM on September 16, 2011 [2 favorites]

I had 2 unremarkable full term pregnancies (1 baby was 10lbs). My spina bifida occulta was not discovered until 10 years after the birth of my youngest. I've had no short or long term back pain.
posted by JujuB at 9:59 PM on September 16, 2011

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