There are many benefits of taking folic acid while pregnant
Folic acid prevents neural tube defects in the growing fetus
Taking folate during pregnancy reduces homocysteine levels
Like various other nutrients, folic acid is the vitamin B found in supplements and foods. When it occurs in foods, it is called folate. If found in supplements, it is known as folic acid. Folate plays an important role in the body, especially before and during pregnancy. Folic acid is key for normal growth and development. The main function of folic acid is to synthesize new cells and produce DNA. The role of folic acid in pregnancy is also vital as it handles the proper development of organs in a fetus.
Getting enough folic acid during pregnancy can prevent neural and spinal birth defects. According to the CDC, the folic acid requirement in pregnancy is 400mcg on a daily basis . To know more about the connection between folate and pregnancy, read on.
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Besides getting the right folic acid dose in pregnancy, there are many other uses. Primarily, it forms red blood cells in your body. Also, it:
If your homocysteine levels are high, it can cause damage to the lining of your arteries. Severe blood clots may occur that can result in blood vessel blockage.
Women of reproductive age should get enough folic acid. Ideally, women should consume folic acid daily. This is irrespective of whether you choose to get pregnant or not, as it can help produce new cells. Neural tube defects in the fetus occur at an early developmental stage. Even before you realize that you are pregnant. Having folic acid supplements regularly can minimize the risk for neural defects in an unplanned pregnancy .
Since it is soluble in water, the body is able to metabolize it quickly. You can consume folate during pregnancy at any time of the day. Make it a habit to take it every morning. Always consult a gynecologist before taking any vitamins. A high dose of folic acid is recommended for women who have delivered kids with neural tube defects in their previous pregnancies. Other risk factors, where a higher dose is needed, are if:
If there is a folate deficiency, it means your blood has lower amounts of folic acid in it. A folate deficiency can cause anencephaly and spina bifida in the baby. These birth defects cause major developmental problems in children.
Anencephaly is a condition where a baby is born without major brain parts. Proper formation and closure of neural tube help in the proper development of the skull and brain. Spina bifida is another neural defect problem, where the spine of a baby is not developed properly. As a result, the child may be disabled and unable to use certain limbs.
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When you are trying to conceive you may need 600mcg of this vitamin. Ideally, this is prescribed from your fourth to the ninth month of pregnancy.
Now that you are aware of the importance of folic acid during pregnancy, it is essential to consume foods rich in it. Taking folate supplements before pregnancy is equally important to prevent birth defects in your baby. Consult a gynecologist when you are planning to conceive for more information. Connect with leading doctors easily on Bajaj Finserv Health. Book an online doctor consultation to address your doubts and concerns from the comfort of your home. Get the right medical care on time to enjoy your pregnancy journey!