Folate is a B vitamin essential to healthy pregnancy and yet 40.8 percent of women of reproductive age in Arizona don’t know that consuming it can prevent birth defects, according to statistics from the Arizona Family Planning Council.
Awareness is even lower among low-income women. And with recent cuts to health care, many expectant mothers do not have access to essential prenatal vitamins.
AFPC has launched a new community outreach program designed to provide prenatal vitamins to women who might not otherwise get them. For just $30 you can provide a year’s worth of prenatal vitamins with essential folic acid (folate’s synthetic form) to an Arizona woman who is getting ready to start a family.
According to the National Institutes of Health Office of Dietary Supplements, folate helps produce and maintain new cells, which is why it is especially important during periods of rapid cell division and growth, such as infancy and pregnancy.
Since 1996, the Food and Drug Administration has required the addition of folic acid to enriched breads, cereals, flours, corn meals, pastas, rice and other grain products. Folate is also found in leafy green vegetables (like spinach and turnip greens), fruits (like citrus fruits and juices) and dried beans and peas.
AFPC is a Title X provider of reproductive life planning, birth control, healthy timing and spacing of pregnancies, counseling and education, physical exams, pregnancy testing, infertility screening, long-acting and permanent birth control, limited testing and treatment for STDs and emergency contraception.
Emphasis is given to those most in need because of low income and other barriers to service. Learn more.