Free folic acid

Kmart Pharmacy is committed to helping educate women about healthy pregnancies. As part of their efforts this year, Kmart pharmacies across the U.S. will provide one free month of folic acid to expectant mothers.

Folic acid is a B vitamin that can help prevent birth defects of the brain and spinal cord called neural tube defects (NTDs). Folic acid works to prevent these birth defects only if taken before conception and during early pregnancy. Folate is the natural form of folic acid that is found in many foods.

Because NTDs originate in the first month of pregnancy, before many women know they are pregnant, it is important for a woman to have enough folic acid in her system before conception. Studies show that if all women consumed the recommended 400 micrograms of folic acid before and during early pregnancy, up to 70 percent of all NTDs could be prevented.

Once you’re pregnant, you should increase your folic acid intake to at least 600 micrograms of folic acid. Your prenatal vitamin should have the right amount of folic acid you’ll need during pregnancy.

Most women should limit the amount of folic acid they take to 1,000 micrograms a day unless otherwise directed by a health provider. For example, women who have had a previous pregnancy affected by birth defects of the brain and spine and women with sickle cell disease should be sure to talk with their health providers about the need for more folic acid.

Folic acid is recommended for all women of childbearing age because about half of all pregnancies in this country are unplanned.  Kmart is stepping up to the plate to help.  From March 28 through May 1, customers can obtain folic acid when they fill their prescription at their local Kmart. Additionally, over-the-counter folic acid is available as part of this promotion. Limited quantities per store are available.

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