Folic acid is one of the essential vitamins that you cannot skip when you are pregnant. Taking folic acid before as well as after pregnancy is recommended because it helps to prevent any birth defects related to the brain or the spinal cord of the baby. You will need to take it daily.
Folic acid- What is it?
A folic acid is a form of vitamin B which is called folate and is man-made. The folate helps in the production of the red blood cells and this aids in the development of the baby’s neural tube. Folate is found in citrus fruits and in dark green vegetables as well as in the fortified cereals.
Why does a pregnant woman need folic acid?
It is important that if you are planning to get pregnant or are pregnant that you take folic acid supplements. The birth defects happen in the early stages of pregnancy. These are serious birth defects of the brain and spinal cord.
The neural tube defect could affect the unborn baby even before the woman may know that she is pregnant. It is thus crucial that you start taking folic acid supplements when you plan to get pregnant. The risk of neural birth defects decreases by almost 7% if the supplement is taken before the woman conceives and all through the first trimester.
It is also believed that folic acid helps to lower the damage of the baby developing cleft lip and palate. It also helps in the prevention of certain heart disease. Preeclampsia is another risk which is a blood pressure disorder and affects pregnant women. Taking a folic acid supplement prevents preeclampsia.
Folic acid is needed by the body and is an essential nutrient. It helps to make red blood cells and this prevents anemia. The folic acid also helps in the production and repair as well as the functioning of the DNA.
When should women start taking folic acid?
Most of the birth defects occur when the baby is 3-4 weeks old. It is important that the woman starts taking folic acid supplements in the early stages of pregnancy when the brain and the spinal cord of the baby are still developing. If you would have already discussed with your doctor that you are planning to conceive then the doctor would have asked you to start taking folic acid supplements.
Taking folic acid supplement early in your pregnancy is important for the development of the baby.
Folic acid prevents any neural tube defects which are the tube that later grows into the spinal cord and the brain of the baby. Thus taking folic acid early in pregnancy helps to prevent any defects in the central nervous system of the baby.
Folic acid produces red blood cells which are important when the woman is pregnant. Folic acid makes sure that the RBC count in the body is normal even when other supplements are being taken to replenish the amount of iron on the body.
Folic acid helps to lower the risk of cleft lip and palate as well as miscarriage and premature birth. The intake of folic acid helps to prevent heart stroke, cancer and Alzheimer’s diseases in a woman. It is also used in the repair and in the functioning of the DNA.
All these make it clear that folic acid is a must when the woman is pregnant.
(Any health-related information or any medical opinion in the Pregnancy news is gathered from secondary sources to give relative and informative enlightenment. The opinions expressed here are the views of the source and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Healtheoz.)