By taking the B-vitamin folic acid at least three months before pregnancy, women can reduce their risk for having a baby with a neural tube defect (NTD) by 70%. Since half of all pregnancies in the United States are unplanned, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control wants all reproductive-age women to take a daily supplement with at least 400 mcg of this nutrient.
Despite this advice, almost 2/3 of women in the U.S. don’t take a folic acid supplement. This week was created by the National Council on Folic Acid in order to increasing awareness of the importance of doing just that.
Why ALL Women Need Folic Acid
If you’re not thinking of getting pregnant right now, you might think, “Why do I need folic acid?” This vitamin plays a crucial role in cell formation and growth, so is important for all women, whether or not they want to get pregnant. As the above video makes clear, taking a daily multi-vitamin with folic acid:
- Is good for your hair, skin and nails;
- May help to lower your risk for certain cancers;
- Can help your body deal with stress.
Go Folic! NFAAW Events
Almost 2/3 of women Go Folic! (a project of the San Francisco Department of Public Health’s Maternal, Child and Adolescent Health Section) is using the week to celebrating with the following:
- A Multi-Vitamin Give-Away designed to get San Francisco women into the habit of “Going Folic.” Clients at the Department’s youth clinics, and women registering for San Francisco’s health care access program, Healthy SF, will receive a FREE bottle (3 months supply) of multi-vitamins with 100% of the RDA for folic acid.
- San Francisco women, ages 14-44, can also pick up a free bottle of Go Folic! Multi-Vitamins by coming by the project office.
- A daily blog highlighting pertinent topics throughout the week;
- We will also feature other organizations’ NWAAF activities on our Facebook page and Twitter feed.
Tune in tomorrow to learn how to get the most from your Go Folic! Multis.