Skip directly to search Skip directly to A to Z list Skip directly to navigation Skip directly to site content Skip directly to page options
CDC Home


It is hard to reach every woman across the nation who could possibly become pregnant. That is why the CDC works with partners, communities and individual advocates across the country, to help raise awareness and promote folic acid efforts for the prevention of serious birth defects.

The goal from all our partners is to reach women who could possibly become pregnant. Research has helped identify two target groups of women who could become pregnant and need to learn the folic acid message: those planning a pregnancy and those not planning a pregnancy.

Current Partners

Logo: The National Council on Folic Acid (NCFA)The National Council on Folic Acid (NCFA)
The National Council on Folic Acid (NCFA) is a partnership of national organizations and associations, state folic acid councils and government agencies whose mission is to improve health by promoting the benefits and consumption of folic acid.

Logo: Spina Bifida AssociationSpina Bifida Association
The Spina Bifida Association (SBA) is dedicated to enhancing the lives of those with spina bifida and those whose lives are touched by this challenging birth defect through education, advocacy, research, and service.

Local SBA chapters

Logo: Healthy Mothers Healthy Babies (HMHB)Healthy Mothers Healthy Babies (HMHB)
Healthy Mothers Healthy Babies strives to improve the health and safety of mothers, babies, and families through educational materials and collaborative partnerships. State and Local HMHB Chapters


Partner Spotlight

Zipathly MendozaZipatly Mendoza, Office Chief at the Arizona Health Disparities Center, Arizona Department of Health Services

In late 2008, the mayor of Phoenix, Arizona, announced a call-to-action to reduce birth defects. The goal: make people more aware of the need to take multivitamins containing folic acid to reduce the risk for neural tube defects (NTDs), especially among Latina women of childbearing age. The plan: create and implement a campaign in Arizona that would resonate with target audiences.

That campaign, led by the Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS) in partnership with the March of Dimes, required a well-coordinated, thoroughly researched approach. Zipatly Mendoza, Office Chief at the Arizona Health Disparities Center, ADHS, and Claudia Sloan, Special Projects Administrator at the Division of Behavioral Health Services, called on their collective experiences to develop and implement the campaign.


Resource Guides and Tools

Health Communication Materials

CDC's Office of Communication's HealthComm KEY database contains summaries of recent journal articles relating to health communication research and practice. Additional books, articles, journals, websites and other sources that may be useful to individuals interested in health communications are listed in this database

DISCLAIMER: Products shown and links to organizations outside of CDC are included for information only. CDC has is not responsible for the information at these sites. Views and opinions of these organizations are not necessarily those of CDC, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), or the U.S. Public Health Service (PHS).

[Return to top of page]

The “non-contemplators” are harder to reach. These young women are usually 18-24 years of age and are not planning to become pregnant any time soon. Thoughts about getting pregnant are not on their radar screen. They are less open to messages about pregnancy and do not see behaviors that improve pregnancy outcomes as important for them. As half of all pregnancies are not planned, it is important that “non-contemplators” learn the benefit of taking a multivitamin with folic acid every day, regardless of whether they are planning to get pregnant or not. Messages for these women should focus on the idea that adopting this habit today can not only provide general health benefits but also can help prevent a birth defect in a baby they might want to have in the future.
“Contemplators” generally fall in the 18-35 year old range and are planning a pregnancy sometime in the next year or so. These women are likely to consider changing their behaviors to prepare for a healthy pregnancy. These women are open to messages about pregnancy. Yet, most “contemplators” do not know when folic acid is needed to prevent birth defects. So, education about needing to take folic acid before getting pregnant and in the first few months is important.

Learn More about Health Insurance Market Place

Flu and disabilities button

Contact Us:
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

    National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities

    Division of Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities

    1600 Clifton Road
    MS E-87
    Atlanta, GA 30333
  • 800-CDC-INFO
    TTY: (888) 232-6348
  • Contact CDC-INFO The U.S. Government's Official Web PortalDepartment of Health and Human Services
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention   1600 Clifton Rd. Atlanta, GA 30329-4027, USA
800-CDC-INFO (800-232-4636) TTY: (888) 232-6348 - Contact CDC-INFO