Folic Acid Partner Toolkit
Every year, CDC celebrates National Folic Acid Awareness Week to raise awareness about the role of folic acid before and during pregnancy in helping to prevent birth defects such as spina bifida and anencephaly. National Folic Acid Awareness Week is held annually during the second full week of September. Use the social media messages, graphics, and resources below to join CDC in raising awareness of the benefits of folic acid and promote healthy development of babies everywhere!
For People Who Can Become Pregnant
- Planning to become pregnant? CDC recommends getting 400 micrograms (mcg) of folic acid each day, which can help prevent major birth defects of a baby’s brain and spine. #FolicAcid #powertoprevent
- Get your 400 micrograms (mcg) of folic acid daily from a vitamin with folic acid and by eating a balanced diet that includes folate-rich foods. #FolicAcid #powertoprevent
- Did you know? Folic acid is for everyone because it helps your body make new cells! Start a new, healthy habit by getting 400 micrograms (mcg) of folic acid every day. #FolicAcid #powertoprevent
- Planning to get pregnant soon? Start a healthy habit today and get 400 mcg of folic acid every day. #FolicAcid #powertoprevent
- Folic acid is a B vitamin that, when taken before and during early pregnancy, helps prevent birth defects of a baby’s brain and spine. Here are two easy ways to get the recommended amount:(1) eat a bowl of cereal or (2) take a vitamin with folic acid daily. Start a healthy habit today and get 400 mcg of folic acid every day. #Folicacid #powertoprevent
- Trying to get pregnant soon and confused about which prenatal vitamins to buy? Look for the vitamins with 400 mcg of folic acid. It’s the only form of folate proven to prevent certain birth defects. #Folicacid #powertoprevent
- Hispanics/Latinas have the highest rate of births affected by serious birth defects of the brain and spine, compared with other groups. Corn masa flour is a staple in the diets of many Hispanic/Latina women, and some products may have folic acid added, which can help prevent these birth defects. Check to see if the corn masa flour you may use for tortillas and tamales has folic acid added. #Folicacid #powertoprevent
For Healthcare Professionals
- Healthcare providers: You play an important role in encouraging all people who are capable of becoming pregnant to get 400 mcg of folic acid daily to help prevent some major birth defects of the brain and spine. #FolicAcid #powertoprevent
- Facebook, Instagram, or LinkedIn
- Healthcare Provider: Encourage your patients who can become pregnant to get 400 micrograms (mcg) of folic acid each day to help prevent neural tube defects (NTDs), major birth defects of a baby’s brain or spine. NTDs occur very early in pregnancy (3-4 weeks after conception), before most people know they are pregnant. Studies have shown that people who consume 400 mcg of folic acid each day generally have enough folate in their blood to help prevent neural tube defects, even if they have an MTHFR C677T variant. Check out the CDC’s resource, MTHFR Gene and Folic Acid, and be prepared to answer your patients’ questions. #Folicacid #powertoprevent
For General Audiences
- This National Folic Acid Awareness Week, we recognize 30 years of the U.S. Public Health Service folic acid recommendation to help prevent serious birth defects of the brain and spine. More babies in the United States are now born without birth defects of the brain and spine thanks to #folicacid fortification https://bit.ly/3e9TDdm. #powertoprevent
Use #folicacid and #powertoprevent to help us track the conversation on social media. You can use the sample posts in this toolkit or tailor them to fit your organization’s mission or needs.
This year marks the 30-year anniversary of the U.S. Public Health Service’s folic acid recommendation for prevention of neural tube defects (NTDs). Join us for a free webinar about folic acid and why it remains the best tool available to prevent these serious birth defects of the brain and spine. Misinformation on this topic has spread online in recent years and makes it challenging for patients to make informed decisions. In this webinar, CDC experts will describe the sustained impact of folic acid on the prevention of NTDs, address different forms of folate and why folic acid is the only form proven for NTD prevention, and provide recommendations for people with MTHFR gene variants. CDC will be joined by Shannon Clark, MD, MMS, FACOG, for an interactive discussion in which she will share her experiences counseling patients about NTD prevention. She will also describe how she addresses misinformation about folic acid and how healthcare professionals can improve collaboration within the healthcare team to improve folic acid intake to prevent NTDs. CE is available for this webinar.
- Describe the epidemiology of neural tube defects (NTDs)
- Explain the different forms of folate
- Describe the folic acid recommendation for the prevention of NTDs
- Explain how MTHFR gene variants affect folate metabolism
- Describe how a health care provider can address commonly asked questions about folic acid
- Describe how to improve collaborative practice across the healthcare team regarding folic acid intake recommendation for NTD prevention
Instructions for Obtaining Continuing Education (CE)
Complete the activity
FEES: There are no fees for CE.
To receive CPE (Dietitians and Dietetic Technicians, Registered):
- Complete the evaluation at bit.ly/FolicAcidCPE
September 14, 2022 | 3-4 p.m. ET
CDC scientist CAPT Jennifer Williams shares her knowledge about folic acid and discusses the importance of folic acid to help prevent serious birth defects of the brain and spine.
The Story of Folic Acid Fortification
This video documents the compelling story of how folic acid fortification has helped protect many babies in the United States from being born with a major birth defect of the brain or spine.
Download and save the graphics for use with your social media posts across various platforms to raise awareness about folic acid.
Print materials, such as postcards and brochures, are available to order or download.
State, tribal, local, or territorial (STLT) public health departments can access free, customizable CDC resources on folic acid through the Communication Resource Center.
Genetics experts from CDC answer commonly asked questions about changes to genes and the use of folic acid to help prevent some neural tube defects.