Go Folic! is a project of the San Francisco Department of Public Health. We are working to make it easier for San Francisco women to get enough folic acid in their diet. We’re doing this through education and by providing free, high-quality multi-vitamins to women, ages 14-44, who might otherwise not be able to afford them.
As a preconception health project, we are not only concerned about women who are pregnant or thinking of becoming pregnant. We believe that all women deserve to be healthy, and so we cover a wide range of topics related to young women’s health on our blog, and out in the community. Here you’ll not only find information about pregnancy, you’ll read posts about:
- Breakthroughs in women’s health research;
- Contraception and reproductive rights;
- Healthy relationships and sexual health;
- Health events and celebrations of concern to women;
- Nutrition and its connection to beauty;
- Healthy, easy-to-make recipes;
- Information about our program and staff members;
- Our experiences out in the community and the women that we meet there.
What is folic acid?
Folic acid is an important B-Vitamin that our bodies use to manufacture healthy cells. All of us need folic acid. It’s especially important during periods of rapid growth, for instance during the teen years and during pregnancy.
Why are we giving away free vitamins?
While we believe that all women have the right to healthy food, we also know how hard it is to eat healthy 24-7. Especially when we’re busy. Especially when we have to put others’ needs before our own. Besides, it can be hard to get all of the folic acid we need from food, even when our diets are healthy. And we know that high-quality vitamins can be expensive when on a budget.
Why take a multi-vitamin?
We like to say folic acid = beauty from the inside out. This is because it may improve the quality of a woman’s hair, skin and nails. A growing number of studies are finding that it may support a healthy heart and reduce a woman’s risk for colon, breast and cervical cancer.
Thinking about getting pregnant? A healthy woman = a healthy baby!
Take a daily multi-vitamin with folic acid at least 3 months before you get pregnant and during the early months of your pregnancy. You will reduce by 70% your risk of having a baby with a serious defect of the brain or spine (called a neural tube defect). In 2008, a major study by the National Institutes of Health found that women who took a daily multi-vitamin with folic acid for one year before getting pregnant might greatly reduce your risk for preterm labor. More research is needed to confirm this finding. But why wait, since being born too early can put babies at risk for so many life-long health problems?
Learn more about us!
To learn more about folic acid, where San Francisco women can get free vitamins or how your San Francisco organization can become a community partner, visit our website at http://www.gofolic.org.