SAN JOAQUIN: New Program Targets Young Women Of Childbearing Age
San Joaquin County will soon be launching a new public-education campaign to teach young women the importance of consuming enough folic acid to reduce the risk of birth defects. Until now, the county has only targeted such education efforts toward pregnant females, the Stockton Record. Folic acid "is needed not just in the first few months of pregnancy but in the three months before conception," said Dr. Tim Livermore, the county's assistant health officer. "The younger the female, the more likely a pregnancy will be an unplanned one. That's why the new public-education campaign is focusing on females of childbearing age through age 20," he said. The campaign, funded by a March of Dimes grant, will aim to educate adolescents and young women through "thousands" of pamphlets printed in various languages.
Need To Get Enough
Despite health experts' recommendations that all women of childbearing age consume certain amounts of the "little-known B vitamin" through diet or vitamin supplements, "nine out of 10 people in this country don't get enough folic acid in their diet," and about 4,000 pregnancies a year nationwide are affected by folic-acid deficiencies, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. A deficit of folic acid "can lead to birth defects such as spina bifida" and