The Spina Bifida Resource Network Promotes January Folic Acid Awareness Month

Flemington, NJ (December 14, 2010) — Eight babies are born every day in the United States with Spina Bifida or a similar neural tube defect. The Spina Bifida Resource Network (SBRN) is working with the goal of highlighting reduced occurrences of the birth defect during the month of January to promote “Folic Acid Awareness Month” with a message to women who are planning to be pregnant.

The birth defect occurs during the first month of pregnancy when the spine of a baby fails to close which can lead to paralysis and many other permanent issues.  An estimated 7,000 people in the tri-state area currently live with Spina Bifida — the most common permanently disabling birth defect in the United States. SBRN encourages all women of childbearing age to consume 0.4 mg (400mcg) of folic acid daily to reduce the incidence of Spina Bifida by up to 70%.

The purpose of “Folic Acid Awareness Month” is to educate the public with further understanding of the foods and vitamins a women’s body needs months before and during the stages of pregnancy says Julia Mc Connell, Executive Director of the Spina Bifida Resource Network.  “It’s essential that people are aware of folate rich foods and the exact intake of folic acid supplements required during pre-pregnancy stage. Lifestyles of busy women all over the world vary.  SBRN’s postcard message along with a list of foods needed in their grocery cart and two wholesome recipes assist women to remember their folic acid intake.

In efforts to spread awareness about Folic Acid for the month of January, SBRN has partnered with Planned Parenthood of New Jersey to distribute the postcard recipes in each of their OB/GYN offices.

The Spina Bifida Resource Network provides support and services to people with Spina Bifida and their families through education, advocacy, research, and service.  SBRN is the only organization solely dedicated to advocating on behalf of the Spina Bifida community.  For more information on Spina Bifida please visit www.thesbrn.org or call 908-782-7475.

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