How To Take Folic Acid During Pregnancy


Pregnancy begins with the regular visits to your gynecologist who prescribes folic acid tablets. You are told to eat folic acid everyday, this practice is adhered to by the doctors world-over. It is pointless to touch here that if you are pregnant you must take folic acid, because your doctor is going to give you in any case.


This write up will touch upon every important aspect that you need to know about foilc acid. This article aims to give  information about the problems due to deficiency of folic acid and importance of taking it before pregnancy among other important aspects that you would need to  know.

Best Folic Acid During Pregnancy

The Benefits Of Folic Acid

Folic acid is vitamin B 16 and is also called folate. It has a very important role to play as an agent to over see the production of red blood cells and the nervous system of your baby.

The neural tube has to develop into brain and spinal cord, it is the duty of folic acid to make sure that this happens properly.


Medical Problems Due To Deficiency Of Folic Acid

The neural tube needs to close properly otherwise there can be defects of neural tube. There are two types of defects that can develop, one is spina bifida and the other is anencephaly. As the name suggests spina bifida is about spinal cord wherein the spinal cord does not develop properly. Anecephaly is the name given to the brain related defect where the development of brain does not happen properly.

Spina bifida results in the baby with permanent disability and the babies with anencephaly die soon. Folic acid may give protection for cleft lip palate, premature birth, miscarriage, low weight at the time of birth, poor fetal growth and miscarriage.


Recommended Doses Of Folic Acid

It is advisable that you start taking folic acid much before conception. The dose at that time can be 400mcg, it can be continued through the first trimester. Thereafter needs to be enhanced. Doctors stress that it should be increased to 600mcg from fourth month onward to be continued till the end of pregnancy. You must continue taking folic acid while you are breast feeding your baby. Now it may be brought down to 500mcg.

This dose is to be strictly adhered to each day of the said period. It is being advised that all women of childbearing age should take folic acid, but of utmost importance is the fact that preferably a year before you plan your baby it will be good to start on the daily dose. A study has shown that those who started folic acid a year before pregnancy reduced the chances of premature delivery by 50%.


Foods That Provide Folic Acid

The fortified breakfast cereals contain folic acid. Almost all the lentils are good sources of folic acid. Spinach is a rich source of folic acid. It can be has boiled, cooked or frozen, anyways it will be good. Among the non vegetarian foods beef liver is the best source, whether it is braised or cooked.

It needs to be clarified that even if you consume the diet rich in folic acid, you need to take supplements too. Diet can not fulfill the requirements during pregnancy when the requirements become many fold.