After your baby is born, he or she will be transferred to Children’s Health Ireland at Temple Street. Here, you will meet the Spina Bifida Team- each person has a different job to do, but we work closely together.

Most babies undergo surgery to close the defect in their back within a few days of arriving to Temple Street, but the exact timing may be different for each baby.

Spina bifida affects all babies differently- no two are identical. The early days are a valuable time for the Spina Bifida Team to get to know your baby and to identify the way spina bifida affects him or her. We will assess your baby’s general health, movement and strength, as well as bowel and bladder function. Most parents are taught how to perform clean intermittent catheterisation (CIC); a technique where a small tube is inserted into the bladder to empty it several times per day. Parents become expert in this very quickly!

A number of scans may be performed to look at your baby’s brain, spine, bladder, kidneys and hips. These help us to better understand each baby’s needs. We look out for conditions commonly seen in babies with spina bifida.

Most babies spend at least a week in hospital, sometimes longer. The amount of time will depend on each individual baby’s circumstances, particularly their need for surgery.