National Folic Acid Awareness Week

September 11-17, 2022
The second full week in September is Folic Acid Awareness Week!

During Folic Acid Awareness Week, we invite you to connect with the National Birth Defects Prevention Network (NBDPN) to celebrate the successes of folic acid supplementation and fortification in preventing serious birth defects of the spine and brain. These birth defects, spina bifida and anencephaly, are types of neural tube defects (NTDs) that develop very early in pregnancy, before most women even know they are pregnant. 

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 these serious birth defects.

Please help us share this key information with your friends, family, and networks!
2022 Schedule of Events
CDC Webinar: Folic Acid: The Best Tool to Prevent Neural Tube Defects Register here
    Target Audience: Health Care Providers
This year marks the 30 year anniversary of the U.S. Public Health Service’s folic acid recommendation for prevention of neural tube defects (NTDs). Join CDC for a free webinar about folic acid and why it remains the best tool available to prevent these serious birth defects of the brain and spine. Misinformation on this topic has spread on-line in recent years and may be challenging for patients to make informed decisions. In this webinar, CDC experts will describe the sustained impact of folic acid on the prevention of NTDs, address different forms of folate and why folic acid is the only form proven for NTD prevention, and provide recommendations for people with MTHFR gene variants.
CDC will also be joined by Shannon Clark, MD, MMS, FACOG for an interactive discussion where she will share her experiences counseling patients about NTD prevention, how she addresses misinformation about folic acid, and how healthcare professionals can improve collaboration within the healthcare team to improve folic acid intake to prevent NTDs. Continuing education for this activity is pending.
Wednesday, 9/14/2022                                                                                                      3-4pm Eastern                       
MotherToBaby Folic Acid Podcast
    Target Audience: general public
Host Chris Stallman, a mom-of-four, genetic counselor, and MotherToBaby information specialist, discusses folic acid and MTHFR gene variants with a nurse researcher from CDC and answers questions from pregnant persons and parents about vitamins and the need to take a supplement even when you eat a healthy diet. 
Check back!
Podcast release date will be posted soon.
On demand
Daily social media posts from NBDPNAll weekAll week

Social Media Posts Finding Statistics Other Resources
Social Media Posts
Join NBDPN this September to promote National Folic Acid Awareness Week using your social media networks! NBDPN will be posting daily to its Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter pages. Please share our posts so we reach the most people.
Feel free to use and share these posts and graphics to raise awareness about folic acid. To download any of these graphics, copy and paste the text, or select the image to download and save to your device. Folic Acid videos are also available for linking on the NBDPN youtube page. Be sure to use hashtags, especially #folicacid !
Let's celebrate 30 years of preventing serious birth defects of the spine and brain! In 1992, the U.S. Public Health Service (USPHS) recommended people capable of becoming pregnant consume 400mcgs of folic acid daily to reduce the risk of neural tube defects (NTDs). #folicacid  Worried about taking folic acid? Even if you have an MTHFR variant, you can process all types of folate, including folic acid. Check out @CDC for the latest information on folic acid and MTHFR variants. #folicacid  Timing is important! Neural tube defects (NTDs) form very early in pregnancy, before most women even recognize they are pregnant. Women who are of childbearing age should take 400mcgs of folic acid daily to ensure they have enough in their system to reduce the risk of an NTD should they become pregnant. #folicacid
Health care providers, what you say matters! Remember to advise women to take a vitamin with 400 mcg of folic acid daily to help prevent serious birth defects of the spine and brain, regardless of their intention to become pregnant. #folicacid Some women only start taking a multivitamin when they get pregnant, but it is important to also take a daily vitamin with 400 mcgs of folic acid BEFORE pregnancy to prevent serious birth defects like spina bifida and anencephaly. #folicacid Multivitamins too pricey? Try store brands or a folic acid-only supplement. Or check with your state health department to see if there are free/discounted vitamin programs in your area! #folicacid
Some state health departments have free vitamin programs! If you live in Utah, check out Power Your Life or if you live in Arizona, Power Me A2Z! #folicacid Some pharmacies have free vitamin programs to ensure women can get their daily folic acid to help prevent birth defects in a future pregnancy. Find a pharmacy that participates in a vitamin program here! #folicacid So you have your vitamins with folic acid, but just can't seem to remember to take them daily? Use a pillbox, set doses where you see them (at work/school, on nightstand), take it when you brush your teeth, set a daily alarm, or use an app! You can do it! #folicacid
While many foods that include wheat flour are fortified with folic acid in the United States, other common staple foods like corn masa flour, are not fortified often. This is one reason why Latinas are more likely to have babies born with neural tube defects. No matter your diet, make sure to take 400 mcg of #folicacid daily #folicacid Did you know that about 3,000 pregnancies are affected by a defect of the spine (spina bifida) or brain (anencephaly) every year in the US? These conditions are also known as neural tube defects or NTDs. Up to 70% of NTDs can be prevented if women take daily folic acid BEFORE becoming pregnant and during early pregnancy. #folicacid Many states monitor how many babies are born with neural tube defects (NTDs) like anencephaly and spina bifida. Data from state programs show there were about 7-8 babies born with an NTD for every 10,000 live births. Folic acid helps prevent these birth defects! Take you folic acid every day. #folicacid
CDC has a great source of information about folic acid. #folicacid Did you know that NTDs, birth defects of the spine and brain, form before a woman even knows she is pregnant? That's why women should get 400 mcgs of folic acid every day if there is a chance they could become pregnant. #folicacid Test your knowledge about folic acid by taking the Folic Acid Quiz! #folicacid
I’m preparing for my first baby, which is why I take a multivitamin with #FolicAcid every day.   I’m not planning to become pregnant but I still take 400mcg of #FolicAcid and eat a healthy diet.   I eat a bowl of fortified cereal because it’s best for me and my baby. #FolicAcid   I’m taking my prenatal vitamin every day because it's best for me and best for baby. When do you take your #FolicAcid?

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Finding Statistics
March of Dimes PeriStats provides free access to maternal and infant health-related data at the US, state, county, and city level:
Folic Acid: self reported multivitamin use in the month before pregnancy. Source: PRAMS
Birth Defects: Prevalence of Spina Bifida or Anencephaly

Example of Georgia spina bifida prevalence by maternal race/ethnicity:

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Other Resources:
Folic Acid
General Information about NTDs, Folic Acid, and Folate
MTHFR Gene, Folic Acid, and Preventing Neural Tube Defects
Free Materials & Multimedia

March of Dimes: Before or Between Pregnancies: Folic Acid

MotherToBaby: Folic Acid Fact Sheet

Unique Tools and Resources from State Programs
Power Me A2Z - Arizona Department of Health Services
Website for women, couples and families, including a program for free vitamins for Arizona women  
Click to Visit Website
Power Your Life Power Your Health - Utah Department of Health 
Website for women, couples and families, including a program for free vitamins for Arizona women  
Click to Visit Website

Food Folate Food Game - Florida Folic Acid Coalition
Plan meals with foods high in folate below and supplement with 400mcg of folic acid!
Click To Visit Website

Folic Acid: Your Vitamin For Life - Arkansas Folic Acid Coalition website
Click To Visit Website

Folic Acid Take it for Your Health - Michigan Department of Community Health
Brochures featuring women from diverse communities available in English, Arabic, and Spanish
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