Women’s health experts discuss the benefits of folic acid before and during pregnancy
Women’s health experts in the Alpharetta and Atlanta Ga area describe folic acid as a pregnancy superhero. Taking the recommended amount of folic acid before and during your pregnancy can help to prevent birth defects to your newborn’s spinal cord and brain.
If you are planning to become pregnant, it is important to take folic acid approximately two to three months before conceiving. It’s understandable that it can sometimes be hard to predict when you will become pregnant, but proper planning will give you a chance to build folic acid in your body to give you and your baby the chance to stay healthy.
Why is folic acid important during this time?
Folic acid is found in many fortified foods and supplements and is a B vitamin. It is also a synthetic form of folate. Folic acid is used by your body to produce DNA and make new cells. This is required for normal development and growth throughout your lifetime.
Taking folic acid will be vital before and during your pregnancy. It is an important vitamin that aids in your baby’s organ development.
Taking folic acid before conceiving can help prevent birth defects including neural tube defects such as encephalocele, spina bifida, and anencephaly.
When to start taking it
If you wish to become pregnant it is recommended that you should take folic acid supplements before trying to conceive.
This is because any neural tube defects can occur very early in development, often before you even know that you are pregnant.
Since many pregnancies are unplanned, it is recommended that anyone who can become pregnant take folic acid supplements. Doing this will ensure that the likelihood of any neural tube defects is low even if the pregnancy is a surprise.
Anyone that is taking folic acid supplements will need to take it every day since it is water-soluble and is metabolized by your body very quickly.
How much should you take?
It is recommended that you take a 400mcg supplement each day. You can get these supplements from most supermarkets, pharmacies, and health food stores. Your doctor may even prescribe them to you.
Some pregnancy multivitamin tablets can also provide you with the recommended amount of folic acid. If you decide to take this route, be sure that the tablet does not contain any vitamin A. High doses of this vitamin can cause problems with development in the first three months of your pregnancy.
Women’s health in Atlanta and Alpharetta GA
Women’s health experts recommend folic acid because it is a key vitamin for anyone who is looking to become pregnant. If you are trying to conceive you should speak to your doctor about the proper dosage of folic acid and if you are already pregnant your doctor can perform a folic acid test to determine how much folic acid is already in your blood system.
Contact your top Alpharetta and Atlanta OBGYN for your obstetrics and gynecology care.