It's 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.
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.
(Content: nbdpn.org Image: livingwell.borgess.com)
#folicacid #vitamins #pregnancy #ttc #ttccommunity #children #health #healthy #baby #women #vitaminb #vitamin