Spina bifida can be diagnosed during pregnancy or after the baby is born. Spina bifida occulta might not be diagnosed until late childhood or adulthood, or might never be diagnosed. During pregnancy there are screening tests (prenatal tests) to check for spina bifida and other birth defects. AFP stands for Alpha-Fetoprotein, a protein the unborn baby produces. This is a simple blood test that measures how much AFP has passed into the mother’s bloodstream from the baby. A high level of AFP might mean that the baby has spina bifida. An AFP test might be part of a test called the “triple screen” that looks for neural tube defects and other issues. Ultrasound – An ultrasound is a type of picture of the baby. In some cases, the doctor can see if the baby has spina bifida or find other reasons that there might be a high level of AFP. Frequently, spina bifida can be seen with this test. Amniocentesis comprises the doctor taking a small sample of the amniotic fluid surrounding the baby in the womb. Higher than average levels of AFP in the fluid might mean that the baby has spina bifida.