Having a healthy baby means ensuring you’re healthy too. One of the most important things you can do to prevent birth defects in your baby is to get enough folic acid in a day, especially before conception and during early pregnancy. Most birth defects occur during the first 28 days of pregnancy, usually before a woman even knows she’s pregnant. If you’re pregnant or trying to get pregnant, it’s critically important to have enough folic acid, a synthetic sort of vitamin B9, also referred to as folate.
Why Is Folic Acid So Important?
Folic acid helps prevent ectoderm defects (NTD) – serious birth defects of the medulla spinalis (like spina bifida) and therefore, the brain (anencephaly). The ectoderm is a part of the embryo from which the spine and brain develop. Neural tube defects occur at an early stage of development, before many ladies even know they are pregnant, which is why it is vital to start taking folic before you start trying to conceive.
Your body also needs it to form normal red blood cells and stop a kind of anaemia. It is also essential for the assembly, repair, and functioning of DNA, our arrangement, and a basic building block of cells. It is particularly important for the rapid cell growth of the foetus.
The CDC ( Is this the US body? ) recommends that you simply start taking folic acid tablets a day, for a minimum of a month before you become pregnant, and each day while you’re pregnant. When getting pregnant, women who have already had a pregnancy suffering from an ectoderm defect, should consult their healthcare provider.
How Much Of It Do You Need?
Every woman of reproductive age must get Folic acid per day , whether she is planning pregnancy or not. The recommended dose for all women of childbearing age is 400 mcg of folate every day . If you’re taking a multivitamin a day , check to ascertain if it’s the recommended amount.
- While you’re trying to conceive: 400 mcg
- For the primary three months of pregnancy: 400 mcg
- For months four to nine of pregnancy: 600 mcg
- While breastfeeding: 500 mcg
If you’ve already had a baby with an ectoderm defect, getting enough vitamin B9 may reduce your risk of getting another child with a ectoderm defect by as much as 70%. When taken before and through pregnancy, Folic acid also protect your baby against:
- Cleft lip and palate
- Premature birth
- Low birth weight
- Poor growth in the womb
Some rice, pasta, bread, and breakfast cereals are fortified with folic acid. These foods are labelled “enriched.” may be a specific sort of folate that doesn’t generally occur naturally. Foods rich in folic acid include leafy vegetables like spinach, lettuce, etc. and fruits like oranges, tomatoes, papaya and avocado. In addition to eating foods with folate from a varied diet, women can get the required dosage from:
- Supplements that have folic acid
- Eating fortified foods
- Getting a combination of the two: taking a vitamin that has folic acid in it and eating fortified foods.
If you are taking folic acid every day, take it at the same time each day, either in the morning or in the evening. Take your tablets with a glass of water. You can take them with or without food.
If you forget to take the required dose, take it as soon as possible. Proper and adequate intake of folate rich foods makes a healthy baby and a cheerful family. Eat right and stay healthy.
We hope this article helps you. For more on nutrition and pregnancy, check out Healthy Reads or tune in to LIVE sessions by experts on GOQii Play.