Presentation on theme: "FOLIC ACID It’s never too early.... What is folic acid? B vitamin essential for healthy development of unborn baby’s spine, brain and skull can help reduce."— Presentation transcript:
FOLIC ACID It’s never too early...
What is folic acid? B vitamin essential for healthy development of unborn baby’s spine, brain and skull can help reduce risk of birth defects such as spina bifida by as much as 70%
What are neural tube defects? neural tube defects (NTDs) are birth defects that occur early in pregnancy – often before a woman knows she is pregnant neural tube grows to become baby’s spinal cord, spine, brain and skull
Which NTDS are most common? Spina Bifida – a condition that results when the lower part of the neural tube fails to develop properly Anencephaly – a fatal condition in which the upper end of the neural tube fails to close Occulta Meningocele Myelomeningocele
Why is folic acid important? reduces risk of NTDs by up to 70% – if taken before conception and during the first trimester, consistently and correctly reduces risk of other birth defects, such as cleft lip and palate, and certain heart abnormalities
Who should take folic acid? all women of childbearing age – minimum of 0.4 mg of folic acid daily – more for high-risk women about half of all pregnancies unplanned
Who is at higher risk? women who... – have a previous pregnancy affected by an NTD – have a family history of NTDs – use certain anti-seizure medication – have insulin-dependent diabetes – been diagnosed as clinically obese – abuse alcohol – are of Celtic, Northern Chinese, Cree and Sikh heritage
Sources of folic acid all women need healthy diet high in folic acid – foods high in folic acid asparagus, broccoli, corn, spinach, orange juice, sunflower seeds, peanut butter, beans – foods fortified with folic acid white flour, enriched pasta, enriched cornmeal
What if I’m high-risk? consult a health professional – to determine correct dosage of folic acid – to determine best multivitamin may require up to 5 mg of folic acid daily
Why spread the word? less than half of women between 18 and – know folic acid can prevent birth defects – are currently taking a multivitamin almost two-thirds... – don’t know folic acid needs to be taken before conception to reduce the risk
For more information... take a brochure – download more at visit and encourage health professionals to help spread the word – doctors, nurses, doulas, nutritionists, dieticians, etc.
It’s never too early! Help spread the word... FOLIC ACID