Folic Acid Awareness Week


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January 7-13, 2018 is Folic Acid Awareness Week!


Folic acid is a B-vitamin that is necessary for proper cell growth.
If taken before and during early pregnancy, folic acid can prevent up
to 70% of some serious birth defects of the brain and spine, called neural tube defects.


The CDC and the U.S. Public Health Service recommend that all women between the ages of 15 and 45 consume 400 micrograms (mcg) of folic acid daily to prevent two types of neural tube defects, spina bifida and anencephaly. Since these birth defects develop within the first few weeks of pregnancy, it is important to have enough folic acid in your body BEFORE becoming pregnant and to continue getting enough folic acid during early pregnancy.  Women need folic acid even if they are not planning to become pregnant since almost half of all pregnancies in the United States are unplanned.  

Women who could possibly become pregnant can consume 400 mcg of folic acid every day by:

  • taking a daily multi-vitamin containing folic acid, and
  • eating fortified foods like grains, pastas, or breakfast cereals.
Although all enriched cereals and grain products in the U.S. are fortified with the B vitamin folic acid, only one-third of U.S. women of childbearing age get the recommended amount from their diet. Taking a multivitamin with folic acid every day is the easiest way that women can get the recommended amount of 400 mcg. In addition to getting 400 mcg of folic acid from supplements and fortified foods, it is important to eat a diet rich in folate. Folate is a form of the B vitamin folic acid. It is found naturally in some foods, such as leafy, dark green vegetables, citrus fruits and juices, and beans.

Hispanic babies are more likely than others in the U.S. to be born with a neural tube defect. The CDC reports that Latinas in the U.S. consume less folic acid and have the least knowledge about folic acid than non-Hispanic women.

 
 Free Materials and Resources

Join us to promote Folic Acid Awareness Week by following some easy tips listed in the social media toolkit!

Folic Acid Awareness Week Sample Materials Please help us promote Folic Acid Awareness Week by following our easy tips in the social media toolkit!
  • FAAW Social Media Toolkit PDF
  • FAAW Sample Article PDF
  • FAAW Infographic PDF
Free English Education Materials
  • Folic Acid Factsheet PDF
  • Running PDF
  • Veggies PDF
  • Water PDF
  • For more free folic acid materials click here                                  
Free Spanish Education Materials
  • Folic Acid Factsheet PDF
  • Running PDF
  • Veggies PDF
  • Water PDF
  • Para materiales en español por favor haga clic aquí 
 
Additional Education Materials

Folic acid is a vitamin that can help prevent birth defects. Women of childbearing age need 400 micrograms (mcg) of folic acid each day. Check out CDC’s folic acid page: http://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/folicacid/index.html.

Women can get the recommended 400 mcg of folic acid by taking a daily multivitamin or by eating fortified foods. Check the label of your favorite cereal to see if it has 100% DV (daily value) of folic acid. Go here to read answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about folic acid:
https://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/folicacid/faqs/index.html

More than half of all pregnancies are unplanned. Talk to your health care provider about a reproductive life plan. Check out the website https://www.cdc.gov/preconception/showyourlove/index.html
 
Resources from State Programs

Food folate is different than folic acid but it can still be part of a healthy diet. Play the food folate game below and remember to supplement your diet with 400mcg of folic acid!
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Folic Acid: Your Vitamin For Life
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Folic Acid Take it for Your Health Pamphlet:
Self Study Course