PASOs Supports Birth Defects Prevention Month

January is Birth Defects Prevention Month and January 7-13th is Folic Acid Awareness Week. Folic acid is a B-vitamin that is imperative for cell growth.

PASOs provides culturally-tailored prevention education, support, and resource navigation for women of child-bearing age, women who are pregnant, and families after the birth of a child in order to address health disparities and improve outcomes for Latino mothers and babies in our state. Community-based Community Health Workers (CHWs) work through local organizations and community outreach, forming trusting relationships to help participants navigate maternal, child, and reproductive health care services; overcome obstacles to attending prenatal and postpartum appointments; manage pregnancy-related stress; enroll in the Women, Infant and Children (WIC) nutritional program; give information on infections that can cause birth defects in children, such as the Zika virus; and provide resources for breastfeeding and newborn care. CHWs also discuss the benefits of taking folic acid vitamins with women to ensure they know that you can prevent up to 70% of serious birth defects by taking folic acid before and during pregnancy.

PASOs has given 387 women statewide folic acid bottles and follow ups show that most women are taking it everyday or most days. PASOs has also given out an additional 684 bottles during outreach events, for a total of 1,073 folic acid bottles distributed in 2017. Learn more about Birth Defects Prevention Month here.