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COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Update Learn More

Dear Friends and Neighbors,

CentraCare care givers have been working around the clock for more than 20 months to care for you, your families and friends during COVID. We are committed to caring for every Minnesotan who needs us, and nothing will prevent us from doing so – even during these never-seen-before times.

The challenge of providing this level of care is that our hospital beds are often full. ERs in all of our hospitals are packed. And our clinical teams are exhausted. Early in the pandemic, our community stepped up in amazing ways to help us. We ask that you again join us in fighting this pandemic together.

How can you help?

  • Please get your COVID vaccines and booster shots. They are proven safe and effective in reducing COVID illness, keeping people out of the hospital, and preventing death.
  • If your situation is not an emergency, please use other care options, including:
  • If this is a medical emergency, call 9-1-1, or visit the ER.

Together, we can do this. Thank you for your support.

Ken Holmen, MD
President and CEO

All about folic acid

Published in Birthing Services, Women's Services, OB/GYN Services Author: Erin Hennen,MD

Folate is a B vitamin that our bodies use to build DNA and promote healthy cell growth and reproduction. Folic acid is the synthetic form of folate and is easier for the body to absorb than folate. It is important that everyone gets enough folic acid daily, but especially women who are pregnant or may become pregnant.

Folic acid helps prevent neural tube defects. These are serious birth defects of the brain and spine such as spina bifida and anencephaly. The fetal spine and brain form in the first few weeks of pregnancy, often before a women even knows she is pregnant. Given that almost half of all pregnancies in the U.S. are unplanned, any woman who may become pregnant should take a multivitamin with 400 mcg of folic acid daily. Women on certain medications or with a family history may be at higher risk for neural tube defects and required an increased daily dose of folic acid. Please consult your OB/GYN prior to taking higher doses.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) women who take the recommended daily dose of folic acid starting at least one month before they conceive and during the first trimester of pregnancy can reduce their baby's risk of neural tube defects by up to 70 percent.

Sources of folic acid and folate

A multivitamin will help fill in the nutritional gaps of your diet, but there are important food sources as well. These include:

  • Fortified breakfast cereal, pasta and bread
  • Dark leafy green vegetables
  • Cow peas (black eye), boiled great northern beans
  • Asparagus
  • Broccoli
  • Avocado
  • Peanuts
  • Orange juice
  • Banana