The Benefits Of Taking Folic Acid Before And During Pregnancy

The CDC recommends that if you are a woman considering getting pregnant, start taking folic acid. If you just found out you are pregnant, start taking folic acid and continue to take it while you are pregnant. Even if you are a woman of child bearing age, the CDC says you should routinely take folic acid. That makes it pretty clear that the benefits of taking folic acid before and during pregnancy must be immense.

What Is Folic Acid?

Folic acid or folate is a form of a Vitamin B. The FDA mandates that food makers add it to enriched grain products, breakfast cereals, pastas and rice. It’s important to check the label to be sure.

It is found naturally in dark green vegetables like broccoli, spinach, and legumes like beans and peas. It is also found in citrus fruits.

Benefits Of Taking Folic Acid

pregnant woman taking pill

Folic acid is vital to the development of our DNA and cell growth. Vitamin B or folate helps in the proper development of a baby’s brain and spinal cord.

It is especially important for the growth of red blood cells which help the neural tube in the brain to develop properly. If the neural tube does not close properly, birth defects can occur in your baby along with spinal cord issues.

These brain deformities occur in the first three to four weeks of pregnancy before many women even know they are pregnant. Having the recommended amounts of folic acid already in your system helps to protect your growing baby.

Folic acid specifically helps to prevent the following issues:

  • Spina Bifida is a birth defect which is caused by an underdeveloped spinal cord or vertebrae. A child with spina bifida may have to endure multiple surgeries, paralysis,  and be permanently disabled.
  • Anencephaly is an underdeveloped brain defect. In this case, most of these children do not survive very long.
  • Cleft palate or lip
  • Premature birth
  • Low birth rate
  • Miscarriage
  • Poor womb growth

Whereas, taking folic acid has positive advantages for women. It has been shown to reduce the risk of preeclampsia, heart disease, stroke, some cancers, and Alzheimer’s Disease, and taking folic acid at least one year before pregnancy reduces the chances of early delivery by over 50%.

Proper Doses Of Folic Acid

The CDC recommends women take 400 micrograms per day prior to pregnancy and during the first three months, then 600 micrograms between months 4 through 9, and 500 micrograms during breastfeeding.

Talk with Women’s Health Partners if you have chosen a  prenatal multivitamin to be sure you are getting the right dose.

Eating a balanced diet and taking the recommended amounts of vitamins and minerals will increase the likelihood of a healthy baby.

Contact Women’s Health Partners if you are considering becoming pregnant and have questions about your intake of vitamins, especially folic acid.

Call our office in Boca Raton at (561) 368-3775 or our office in Boynton at (561) 734-5710 to schedule an appointment today.

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Your Safety and Well-being is our Priority

On behalf of all of us at Women’s Health Partners, in these difficult times, we want to thank you for your support and confidence in our practice.

We want you to personally know that our patients’ health and well-being has and always will be our number one priority. This reminder bears repeating in the face of any challenges and especially now, given concerns posed by the corona virus (COVID-19) pandemic.

We are taking all necessary precautions to ensure your safety and well-being and that of our staff. To that end, we want to share some of the steps we are taking:

Furthermore, our staff will be asking several screening questions regarding your health. We ask that you do not enter our office if you, or someone in your family, or someone you recently were in contact with, has exhibited flu-like symptoms such as fever, cough, shortness of breath, severe muscle aches, shaking chills, or recent loss of taste or smell, or recently diagnosed with COVID19.

In order to help us participate with our social distancing effort, we are asking patients to enter the office without any visitors, including children.

You will also have the option of waiting in your car instead of the waiting room after you have checked in. The front desk staff will call your cell phone when we are ready for you to come in for your visit.

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