The Role Of Folic Acid In Pregnancy

Folic Acid is a "superhero" of pregnancy!
Supplementing with Folic acid at the recommended dose of 400 micrograms (mcg) before and during pregnancy can help prevent birth defects in your baby's brain and spinal cord. Need to supplement folic acid daily and should drink an extra glass of cereal.
What is folic acid?
Folic acid is a synthetic form of B vitamin, called folate. Folate plays a very important role in the production of red blood cells and helps the neural tube develop into normal brain and spinal cord. The best food source of folic acid is cereal. Folate found in nature is found in green vegetables and citrus fruits.
When should folic acid begin?
Birth defects usually appear during the first 3-4 weeks of pregnancy. Therefore, it is necessary to supplement with folate in the early stages of pregnancy when the fetal brain and spinal cord are in the forming stage


When you go to the clinic to prepare for pregnancy, your doctor may prescribe you to start taking folic acid.


The Role Of Folic Acid In Pregnancy

One study has shown that women taking folic acid supplements at least one year before pregnancy reduced their risk of preterm birth by more than 50%.
The CDC recommends starting a folic acid supplement at least 1 month before pregnancy and during pregnancy.
However, the CDC also recommends that all women of childbearing age also take folic acid supplements every day. So you should start taking folic acid supplements right now.
If you have taken a vitamin before you became pregnant, you should talk to your obstetrician to make sure that the amount of vitamins you are taking is enough for pregnancy, including folic acid. The need for vitamins before and during pregnancy is not the same, you may need more or less than before pregnancy.
How much folic acid is needed?
The recommended dose of folic acid for all women of childbearing age is 400 mcg daily
If you are taking a multivitamins, check to see if the recommended amounts are met.


The Role Of Folic Acid In Pregnancy

If for some reason you don't want to take a multivitamin, you might just need to take folic acid supplements.
Here is the recommended daily dose of folic acid during pregnancy:
Preparing for pregnancy: 400 mcg
First trimester of pregnancy: 400 mcg
From the 4th to 9th month of pregnancy: 600 mcg
While breastfeeding: 500 mcg
What are the benefits of folic acid?
Without enough folic acid to the body, the fetus's neural tube may not be fully closed and cause some neural tube defects.
These defects include:
Spina bifida: imperfect development of the spinal cord or vertebrae
Intracranial fetus: the incomplete development of certain parts of the skull and brain. Children with cranial deformities often die after a short time, children with spina bifida may be permanently deformed. Those are truly troubling issues. However, adequate folic acid intake may at least 50% protect the fetus from neural tube defects.
According to the CDC, if you already have a baby with a neural tube defect, getting enough folic acid can reduce the risk of a future pregnancy from this neural tube defect by up to 70%. If you already have a baby with a neural tube defect, you should increase your daily folic acid intake to 4,000 mcg (equivalent to 4 mg) per day.


The Role Of Folic Acid In Pregnancy

See your doctor for an appropriate dosage.
Folic acid supplementation before and during pregnancy may also protect the fetus against:
Cleft lip cleft
Premature birth
Low birth weight
Miscarriage
Fetal underdevelopment in the uterus
Folic acid is also suggested to reduce risk factors:
Pregnancy complications (One study has shown that women taking folic acid supplements during the second trimester reduced their risk of pre-eclampsia).
Heart disease
Stroke
Some types of cancer
Alzheimer
Food sources of folic acid
Foods that can help you folic acid supplement on the menu include:
400 mcg: Cereals, ¾ cup
215 mcg: Beef liver, cooked, pickled
179 mcg: Lentils, old seeds, cooked, boiled, ½ cup
115 mcg: Spinach, frozen, cooked, boiled, 1 cup
110 mcg: Egg noodles, cooked, ½ cup
100 mcg: Breakfast cereal, ¾ cup
90 mcg: Beans, boiled, ½ cup.

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