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Why the Yellow Ribbon, You Ask?

October 2, 2011

I know it’s breast cancer awareness month, and I, of all people, should be reminding you about the growing need for all women (and men, too) to be aware of the “big C.” Sure, I’m going to go “full on” this month with breast cancer awareness t-shirts and pins, but I figure, so is everyone else.

What everyone else is not going to be talking about is how to prevent spina bifida. So, as a mother of a child with this life-changing birth defect, I figure this is what I should be talking about. So I will.

Please share this with anyone you know that is planning to get pregnant any time soon. Below are some important facts about spina bifida prevention.

Most cases of spina bifida can be prevented. Folic acid is a B vitamin that the body needs to make healthy new cells. If a woman has enough folic acid in her body before and during pregnancy, her baby is less likely to have spina bifida or another defect of the brain or spine. All women who are pregnant or could become pregnant need to take folic acid every day, starting before they get pregnant.

Every woman who could possibly get pregnant should take 400 micrograms (400 µg or 0.4 mg) of folic acid daily in a vitamin or in foods that have been enriched with folic acid.

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