Post Content

FolicacidDid you know that many birth defects are preventable?  Every January, the National Birth Defects Prevention Network makes that message loud and clear by promoting January as Birth Defects Prevention Month.  It’s important information to know, since birth defects are:

 ·         Common: 1 in every 33 babies is born with a birth defect (that’s one baby born with a birth defect every 4½ minutes).

 ·         Costly: Each year, treating birth defects cost $2.6 billion in hospital costs alone.

 ·         Critical: Birth defects are the cause of death for 1 in every 5 infants that pass away before their first birthday.

In the US, about 120,000 babies every year are born with birth defects.  While not all birth defects can be prevented, there are many things you can do to increase your chances of having a healthy baby.  About half of all pregnancies are unplanned, and many birth defects occur before a woman even knows she is pregnant.  With that in mind, it’s important that ALL women of childbearing age:

  • Take 400 micrograms (mcg) of folic acid—the amount found in a typical multivitamin—every day
  • Eat a healthy diet
  • Avoid alcohol, tobacco, and street drugs
  • See a health care provider regularly
  • Ask a health care provider about any medications (prescription and over-the-counter) medications that might be harmful to their growing baby

Want more folic acid?  Folate is the natural form of folic acid that is found in foods.  Good sources include fruits (like oranges and orange juice), green leafy vegetables (like spinach and turnip greens), and dried beans and peas.  These are foods that rank high in other nutrients, too, so you get even more benefits! Breads, cereals, flour and other grain products have folic acid added to them, so they are also good choices.  (For extra nutrition, try to make at least half your grains whole.  Look for the word “whole” as the first ingredient on food labels.)

For more information about how you can prevent birth defects, visit:

 National Birth Defects Prevention Network

http://www.nbdpn.org/

 Massachusetts Folic Acid Initiative

http://www.mass.gov/eohhs/gov/departments/dph/programs/family-health/folic-acid-campaign.html

Tags: , ,

Recent Posts

Weekly Flu Report, April 20, 2018 posted on Apr 20

Rates of flu-like illness rose slightly over the past seven days, according to the latest weekly flu report. There is still flu vaccine available if you have not gotten a flu shot. Call your healthcare provider or visit https://vaccinefinder.org which offers listings for local boards of health   …Continue Reading Weekly Flu Report, April 20, 2018

Help Your Teen Recognize and Address Sexual Harassment at Work posted on Apr 19

Help Your Teen Recognize and Address Sexual Harassment at Work

The topic of sexual harassment has received increased visibility in recent months. The #metoo and #timesup movements have inspired many people of all ages to speak about their experiences of sexual violence on social media. Some who have read and shared these stories remember a time in   …Continue Reading Help Your Teen Recognize and Address Sexual Harassment at Work

Weekly Flu Report, April 13, 2018 posted on Apr 13

The latest weekly flu report indicates that rates of flu-like illness increased slightly over the past seven days. We can expect flu to continue to circulate in our communities even well into spring, and there is still flu vaccine available if you have not gotten   …Continue Reading Weekly Flu Report, April 13, 2018