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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.

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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:

1 FOLIC ACID It’s never too early...

2 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%

3 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

4 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

5 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

6 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

7 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

8 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

9 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

10 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

11 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.

12 It’s never too early! Help spread the word... FOLIC ACID


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