Monday, January 23, 2006

Take folic acid BEFORE getting pregnant.

Here in Atlanta, Baby Noor has been getting a lot of attention. She's the Iraqi child with spina bifida who was brought to Atlanta for a life-saving surgery. Thankfully, she's recovering well. Neural tube defects, like spina bifida, form during the first few weeks of pregnancy, often before the woman even knows she's pregnant. That's why it's important for all women who could become pregnant to take folic acid regularly. Since half of pregancies are unplanned, this is important for all women who may become pregant. Folic acid is a B vitamin that when taken before and during the early weeks of pregnancy can prevent neural tube defects.

There are at least two easy ways women can be sure they are getting enough folic acid:

* Many cereals are fortified with 100% RDA of folic acid. Check the label, and eat a bowl a day.

* Most multivitamins have at least 400 ug of folic acid. Check the label and take one a day.

Look for foods and supplements that contain 100% of the recommended daily allowance (400 micrograms). Unfortunately, many of the world's people don't have access to such foods (perhaps including Baby Noor's mother), but those of us who do, should take folic acid to prevent neural tube defects. Now is the perfect to start because January is National Birth Defects Prevention Month.

"Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being, and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity." - Constitution of the World Health Organization


Karama said...

This post was inspired by an editorial in today's AJC: Take folic acid for baby's sake. It was written by José F. Cordero, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities. Check it out for more on this topic.

Karama said...

Woo hoo! The pledge has been met! You are still welcomed to sign up though. Many thanks to the first five signers!

Shawn said...

Folic Acid and prenatal pills are VERY important to both the mother and fetal development! Don't forget to take your pills! (Also, do some reading on natural food sources of Folic acid.) - You are invited to join my new forum!

Karama said...

Thanks for the tip! I hope you enjoyed your visit to So what can I do. Thank you for spreading the word! Please come back again soon.

Icecandygirl said...

Good initiative!

And ya, can't say enough about the importance of Folic acid, I'm trying to get pregnant and my doc has already put me on it.