Folic Acid Pregnancy Recommendations
Folic Acid Pregnancy Recommendations
If you’re pregnant or trying to conceive, taking folic acid during pregnancy is important for several reasons. Taking folic acid during pregnancy can help to prevent neural tube defects and serious birth defects, such as spina bifida. A neural tube defect will occur at the earliest stage of development, before you even know that you’re pregnant.
Folic Acid Pregnancy: Why you should take it
Research has shown that folic acid during pregnancy can help to lower the baby’s risk of other defects, such as certain heart defects and cleft palate and cleft lip defects. The body needs folic acid in order to make red blood cells, while also preventing anemia. Folic acid is also crucial for the functioning and repair of DNA, in addition to DNA production.
Getting the right amount of folic acid is very important for rapid cell growth of the developing baby and the placenta. Research has shown that taking a daily multivitamin that contains folic acid can help to reduce the mother’s risk of preeclampsia, which is a complex disorder that affects the health of the mother and baby.
Experts recommend taking four-hundred MCGs of folic acid in order to reduce the baby’s risk of developing a neural tube defect. The mother should begin taking this supplement one month prior to trying to conceive.
The baby’s brain and spine develop from the neural tube and they begin to form around three weeks after conception, so it’s important that the mother takes a daily dose of folic acid before conceiving as well as during the first three months of pregnancy.
If you’re taking a multivitamin, check the label to make sure that you’re getting enough folic acid. If you aren’t taking at least 400mcgs, you can take a separate folic acid supplement or change the multivitamin brand for a type that contains more. If you’re taking a prenatal, they’ll probably contain around a thousand MCGs of folic acid.
Do not exceed 1000mcgs of folic acid daily, unless prescribed by your physician. This is especially important if you’re vegan. If you’re vegan you’re at risk of being vitamin B12 deficient and taking too much folic acid can make it harder to identify that deficiency.
Additional NTD Risks: When to see Your Doctor
Women who are overweight have an increased risk of having a baby with a neural tube defect. If you’re obese, speak with your physician before trying to conceive. Your doctor may recommend that you take more than four-hundred micrograms of folic acid daily.
If you’ve had a baby with a neural tube defect, notify your current physician of this and schedule an appointment before trying to conceive.
Women who are diabetic are more likely to have a baby with a neural tube defect. It’s recommended that you see your provider one month prior to trying to conceive in order to determine how much folic acid you should be taking and to also assess your overall health.
see your provider at least a month before trying to conceive to find out how much folic acid you should be taking and to monitor your condition in general.
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