Many studies have shown that women who get 400micrograms of folic acid daily before conception &during early pregnancy reduce the risk of having a fetus with a neural tube defect by up to 70%.

What is folic acid?

Folic acid is a B vitamin, it's also referred as vitamin B9.

What foods contain folic acid?

Folic acid is naturally found in foods as:-

  • Spinach.
  •  Liver.
  •  dried beans.
  •  dried  fruits
  •  leafy green vegetables.

Why do you need folic acid in pregnancy?

  • The Centers For Diseases Control(CDC) recommends that all women between 15 & 45 years of age should consume folic acid   daily because half of pregnancies are unplanned & because these birth defect, spinal bifida & anencephaly occur very early in pregnancy (21 - 28 days after conception), before most women know they are pregnant.
  • Folic acid plays a large role in cell growth & development. As well as tissue formation.

When should you start taking folic acid?

Taking a folic acid supplement is crucial. By taking 400 micrograms of folic acid a day for at least one month before you conceive & during you first trimester.
Not:- some women have an increased risk of having a pregnancy `affected a neural tube defect & are advised to take a higher dose of (5mg) of folic acid each day until they are 12 weeks pregnant.

How a woman can get enough folic acid?

  • Take a vitamin that has folic acid in it every day .
  • Woman can also take a small pill that has only folic acid in it each day.
  • Eating a well-balanced healthy diet daily( natural sources of folic acid).

So, if you find you are pregnant & have not been taking folic acid, you should start now to help prevent any neural defects in the first 3 months of pregnancy.