National Folic Acid Awareness Week

September 12-18, 2021
 
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!
  
 
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! 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 #folicacid!
 
Let's celebrate 30 years of preventing serious birth defects of the spine and brain! In 1991, the Medical Research Council (MRC) Vitamin Study showed that women who had a prior pregnancy diagnosed with a neural tube defect could greatly reduce their risk in a future pregnancy by taking a daily dose of folic acid before becoming pregnant and during early pregnancy. #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:
To find information about NTDs in your state, go to Peristats provided by the March of Dimes (https://www.marchofdimes.org/peristats/Peristats.aspx) and select Location, Topic: Birth Defects and Search. Then select either “Anencephalus” or “Spina bifida without anencephalus” from the View Birth Defects Data section.

Here is an example of spina bifida prevalence rates from Georgia broken down by maternal race/ethnicity:
 

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Other Resources:
CDC
Free Materials & Multimedia https://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/folicacid/materials/index.html
Folic Acid https://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/folicacid/index.html
MTHFR Gene, Folic Acid, and Preventing Neural Tube Defects https://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/folicacid/mthfr-gene-and-folic-acid.html

March of Dimes: Folic Acid https://www.marchofdimes.org/pregnancy/folic-acid.aspx#

MotherToBaby: Folic Acid Fact Sheet https://mothertobaby.org/fact-sheets/folic-acid/pdf/

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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