Folic Acid Awareness

Pregnancy and Folic Acid….Why does your baby need it?

Folic acid is a naturally occurring B vitamin that helps a baby’s neural tube- the part of a developing baby that becomes the brain and spinal cord- develop properly.  It must be taken before and during pregnancy when the neural tube is developing.

The best way to get enough folic acid is to take a multivitamin with 400 micrograms of folic acid in it and eat a healthy diet.  Most multivitamins have this amount, but check the label to be sure. You can also get folic acid in your diet, but it’s hard to get enough every day through food alone.  All women of childbearing age are recommended to take a multivitamin containing folic acid every day as part of a healthy diet.

Folic acid works, but it only works if taken before and during the first few weeks of pregnancy, when the neural tube is developing into the brain and spinal cord.  When the neural tube does not close properly, a baby is born with a very serious birth defect called a neural tube defect.  About 3,000 children are born each year in the United States with a neural tube defect.  If all women took adequate folic acid before conception and during pregnancy, the number of babies born with a neural tube defect could drop by as much as 70 percent.


Folic Acid is found in the following foods:

·         Fortified breakfast cereals

·         Lentils

·         Asparagus

·         Spinach

·         Black beans

·         Peanuts

·         Orange juice (from concentrate is best)

·         Enriched breads and pasta

·         Romaine Lettuce

·         Broccoli


Ø  A single serving of many breakfast cereals has the amount of folic acid that a woman needs each day.  Please look at nutrition label on the side of the cereal box for the serving size and % Daily Value.

Are you pregnant?  You may be eligible for the WIC program.

Who is eligible for the WIC Program?

Ø  Women who are pregnant, who are breastfeeding their babies, or who have given birth in the last six months; Infants to 12 months of age; and Children age 1 to 5.

How do you sign-up for WIC?

Contact the Clark County Health Department. Our staff will:

1. Ask your identity and residence. You will be asked to show ID and proof of where you live.

2. Ask your household income to see if you meet income guidelines. You will meet these if you show proof that: You receive KTAP, Food Stamps or Medicaid, or A pregnant woman or infant in your household receives Medicaid, or A member of your household receives KTAP, or Your household income is at or below 185% of poverty.

3. Do a simple health and diet screening to see if you have a nutritional or health need.

What will you receive?

·         HEALTHY FOODS - Foods you or your children may receive are:

Infant formula
Baby Food and Baby Cereal
Milk, cheese, and yogurt
Vitamin C-rich juices
Iron-rich cereals
Dried beans or peanut butter
Whole Grains Breads, Tortillas, Rice
Fruits and Vegetables


For more information about the WIC program please call us at (859)744-4482.



Information taken from:  www.cdc.gov