“What is Folate and What Does It Do?”
Neural Tube Defects
* Shown above is a three-day old baby with spina bifida.  Spina Bifida is a neural tube defect that happens in the first month of pregnancy when the spinal column doesn’t close completely.
*Today, many people born with spina bifida can lead normal lives.  However, spina bifida can cause disabilities (like not being able to walk) and can even cause the baby to die before it is born.
* Women with folate deficiency who become pregnant are more likely to give birth to low birth weight and premature infants with neural tube defects.
* Folate can be found in leaf veggies such as spinach, turnip greens, dry beans and peas, fortified cereal products, and citrus fruits and juices.
Folate is a form of vitamin B-12 which helps produce and maintain new cells.  It is especially important during times of rapid cell division like pregnancy.  Pregnant women need 600 micrograms of folate per day, however, all women of childbearing age are recommended to take 400 micrograms per day.