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Nutrition and Physical Activity InitiativE

Folic Acid

Studies have shown that up to 70% of all neural tube birth defects (NTDs) can be prevented when people capable of becoming pregnant consume 400 micrograms (μg) of folic acid prior to conception. Most daily vitamins sold in the United States have the recommended daily amount of folic acid (400 μg) needed for the prevention of neural tube defects. Vitamins can be found at most local pharmacy and grocery stores. For more information, visit CDC's National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities (NCBDDD) folic acid resources.  

According to data from the 2013-2015 Maternal and Infant Health Assessment (MIHA) survey only one in three women giving birth (33.8%) reported daily folic acid intake the month before pregnancy. These data show significant racial/ethnic disparities. Daily folic acid use the month before pregnancy was 24.7% for Black women, 26.0% for Hispanic women, 42.1% for White women, and 45.9% for Asian /Pacific Islander women. 

Folic Acid Helps Prevent Serious Birth Defects of the Brain and Spine, CDC 

Social Media Library

MCAH offers a variety of prewritten messages to help raise awareness about the benefits of folic acid.

Copy and paste the text to share on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. To use corresponding graphics, click on photo to enlarge the image, then right click and "save as". You will now be able to upload this higher resolution image to your social media site.

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