Pregnancy & WIC: Mothers Need Folic Acid

WIC Can Help Mothers Get The Right Nutrition

Folic acid helps prevent birth defects in babies. If you are pregnant or thinking about getting pregnant, it’s important to get enough folic acid. If you are expecting, Texas WIC can help you get access to nutritional food during your pregnancy to help ensure your baby gets a healthy start.

Women who have never been pregnant may not be aware of the importance of folic acid during pregnancy.  It’s not a nutrient most of us talk about –  unless you are considering becoming pregnant.

Folate is a type of Vitamin B. Folate is important in the process of making new cells and helps create the  neural tube. The neural tube helps form a baby’s brain and spinal cord.  These developments happen during the first month of pregnancy, which is why mothers need to have enough folate before they become pregnant.

Without enough folate a baby is at risk of being born with severe birth defects such as spina bifida.

Women who can become pregnant should take 400 micrograms (mcg) of folic acid (the man-made version of folate) daily to help prevent birth defects, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines.  

Women can get the recommended amount by taking a vitamin with folic acid and/or eating foods high in folate.


Texas WIC helps expecting mothers get access to nutritional foods. Joining the program is free to women who qualify. To help determine if you qualify, use our free online tool or visit a WIC Clinic or call Texas WIC at 800-942-3678

The Texas WIC program, an educational and nutritional resource for expecting mothers, informs that folate (the natural form of folic acid) is found naturally in foods such as:  

  • Broccoli, 
  • Asparagus
  • Lima beans, dried beans, and peas
  • Spinach and turnip greens
  • Oranges, tangerines, and grapefruit
  • Nuts and sunflower seeds

Some rice, pasta, bread, and breakfast cereals are also enriched with folic acid.

Getting enough folic acid is just one way a woman can help ensure she has a healthy pregnancy. Visit a Texas WIC clinic near you to see if you are eligible for the free program that helps Texas mothers ensure they have a healthy pregnancy.

Author: wicaustin

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