Should I Be Taking Folic Acid While Pregnant – Folic acid prepares you for a healthy conception and pregnancy, says an expert. Folic acid is very important for our body, but it is even more important when it comes to a healthy pregnancy.
Folic acid is a superhero in pregnancy! A good, balanced diet is important during pregnancy, so expectant mothers should aim to include plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains and lean protein in their diet. By now all mothers are expected to have read about the importance of taking a daily prenatal vitamin – and the most important ingredient in this miracle pill is folic acid. Folic acid is a synthetic version of folic acid, a B vitamin (especially vitamin B9). Folic acid is found naturally in some fruits, vegetables and nuts, in addition to vitamins and fortified cereals.
Should I Be Taking Folic Acid While Pregnant
Folic acid and folic acid help the body produce new, healthy red blood cells. Red blood cells carry oxygen to all parts of the body. When the body does not produce enough red blood cells or the blood cannot carry enough oxygen to the body, folic acid deficiency can cause anemia.
Folic Acid During Pregnancy And The Desire To Have Children: How Much Is Recommended?
During the first week of pregnancy, folic acid helps to properly seal the fetal neural tube, the precursor to the brain and spinal cord of the fetus. It also helps build the heart and circulatory system of the unborn baby and helps reduce certain chances of birth defects.
Since folic acid is water soluble, the human body cannot store more of it. Instead, it passes through the urine, so the mother should regularly include enough in her diet to avoid folic acid deficiency. Because most birth defects develop in the first few weeks of pregnancy, it’s especially important to get enough folic acid as early as possible before conception.
Various studies have shown that when this nutrient is started in the months leading up to pregnancy, it has significant health benefits for pregnant women and their babies. This includes reducing risk by:
Miscarriage: Research has shown that some women have difficulty getting pregnant or staying pregnant due to folic acid deficiency.
Folate (folic Acid)
Neural tube defects: Birth defects associated with folic acid deficiency are spina bifida, a malformation of the spine; and anencephaly, a type of brain damage and malformation that causes brain tissue to expand into the spinal canal.
Congenital heart defects: These conditions, which affect millions of babies a year, can include holes in the heart wall, too-narrow valves or malformed blood vessels.
Cleft Lips and Palate: Folic acid can help prevent cleft lip and palate defects.
Eating plenty of acidic foods is essential for expectant mothers as they are also rich in other important nutrients like fiber, calcium, vitamin A and vitamin C.
I Found Out I’m Pregnant But I Haven’t Been Taking Folic Acid. What Should I Do?
Some of the best food sources of folic acid to include in your diet include dark green leafy vegetables (spinach, mustard, broccoli, asparagus, lettuce), avocados, legumes (beans and lentils), green peas, beets, apples, bananas, and oranges. Includes whole grains, bread, pasta and rice.
Most women are advised to consume an additional 400 mcg daily during pregnancy and before conception. Folic acid can be obtained from many pregnancy multivitamin tablets. If you follow this, make sure the tablets do not contain vitamin A. High doses of vitamin A can be. Developmental problems during the early third month of pregnancy. Taking folic acid soon after pregnancy is discovered may not be enough. Many women do not know they are pregnant until 6 weeks or more after conception. For neural tube defects, high doses of folic acid may be needed for the next pregnancy and in the first month of pregnancy.
If pregnancy is not yet planned, consider adding prenatal vitamins to your daily routine. Always talk to your doctor about taking the right dose of prenatal vitamins because taking too many supplements can be toxic to your unborn baby. Expectant mothers should also include foods rich in folic acid in their daily diet. Consult your nutritionist to understand the best sources and proper intake of folic acid.
About the Author Shalini Chakraborty Shalini Chakraborty is Senior Nutritionist, Cloud Nine Group of Hospitals, Bengaluru (Blandur).
Importance Of Folic Acid During Pregnancy │ Theasianparent Malaysia
With one click, you can subscribe and save everything you want to read later. So, enter RN to get your daily dose of health. Taking folic acid during pregnancy reduces the risk of birth defects. But fortified grain products may not contain enough vitamins, says a federal advisory panel.
Folic acid in foods may not be enough to prevent birth defects, says a federal advisory panel. This is a recommendation for nutritional supplements. Mary Altafer/AP Hide caption
If you can get pregnant, you should pop at least one pill a day: a folic acid supplement to reduce the risk of serious birth defects in any future offspring.
The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force on Tuesday reiterated a 2009 recommendation that all women of childbearing potential get 400 to 800 micrograms of B vitamins daily if they don’t already get enough in their diets.
The Importance Of Folic Acid During Pregnancy
Back in 1991, a study found that folic acid supplementation greatly reduced the risk of neural tube defects, a type of birth defect that includes anencephaly and spina bifida. In 1992, the US Public Health Service recommended that women take 400 micrograms as a daily supplement. And starting in 1998, to reach more women, the FDA required cereal and other fortified cereals to be fortified with folic acid, a synthetic version. Vitamin B9.
The increase was associated with a decrease in neural tube defects, from 10.7 cases per 10,000 live births before the boost to seven after the boost, the USPSTF says. (It’s not clear how much of that deficiency was due to reinforcement.) And not all of these defects are due to folic acid deficiency, so it’s not known how that number would change if each woman had enough in the critical early days of pregnancy, often when a woman knows she’s pregnant. is
Despite the unknowns, “the evidence is clear that [supplements] reduce the risk … and it’s strong enough that all women who could become pregnant should take it,” says Alex Kemper, a pediatrician and member of the task force. The recommendation was published in
For some women, eating fortified foods may do the trick, but for others it may not be enough, says Joseph Biggio, president of the American Board of Obstetricians and Gynecologists for Genetics. “It really depends on the diet,” he says. – Avoid free or low carb fortified grain products. Many don’t get enough sources of folate, the naturally occurring version of vitamin B9, including dark green vegetables, leafy greens, beef liver and beans.
Why You Must Have Folic Acid Before And During Pregnancy
Adolescents and ethnic minorities may be at particular risk of deficiency, Biggio says. (Last year, the FDA allowed manufacturers to fortify foods made with masa corn to help prevent birth defects in Hispanic women.) To be safe, ACOG recommends an additional 400 micrograms a day.
The neural tube is the part of the embryo that will eventually form the brain and spinal cord. “Imagine a pancake that rolls out and forms a tube,” says James Mills, a pediatrician and epidemiologist at the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development.
This closure occurs within 28 days of conception, leaving a short window for women to benefit from supplements. Not much is known about how vitamins help prevent blemishes. So it’s unclear whether, for example, a woman who eats a lot of fortified cereals and bread before conception is fine, or should take some form of vitamin B9 continuously during those 28 days, Mills says.
Because critical developmental stages occur so quickly after conception, the USPSTF, ACOG, and other groups recommend that all women who may become pregnant take supplements, not just those who plan to conceive. According to the Guttmacher Institute, about half of all pregnancies in the U.S. are unplanned.
National Folic Acid Awareness Week
Folic acid is available as an individual supplement or as part of a multivitamin. Just check the label to make sure it has at least 400 micrograms, Kemper advises.
The USPSTF found evidence of serious harm from folic acid supplementation in women of childbearing age, he says.
A known problem is that it can mask vitamin B12 deficiency anemia in the elderly, says Mills. For this reason, the Institute of Medicine recommends 1,000 micrograms as the upper limit for folic acid intake from supplements and fortified foods. Folic acid can also be obtained from food. Look for fortified foods to make sure you’re getting enough.
Folic acid is a vitamin that every cell in your body needs for healthy growth and development. If you take it before pregnancy and during early pregnancy, it can help prevent it
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