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Folic Acid and How it Affects Women During Pregnancy

A pregnant woman in stripes with Folic Acid pills in the background

Medically reviewed by Dr. Unsa Mohsin.

If you didn’t already know, Folic Acid is your pregnancy bestie! Not only is it good for your baby, but is also a wonderful supplement for both your overall and reproductive health.  So, if you are planning on conceiving or are already pregnant, then this article is for you!

Let’s read ahead and find out the answers to all your questions.  

Why take Folic Acid in Pregnancy?

According to several researches, folic acid has proven to help reduce the chances of cleft lip and palate. It also reduces neural tube defects (birth defects of the brain, spine and spinal cord). Even though it is a naturally occurring vitamin found in several foods, your body will require more of it during pregnancy.

For this reason, it’s crucial for pregnant women to take these supplements to meet the requirements.

How much Folic Acid Should I Take?

In order to help prevent neural tube defects in your baby, you must take at least 400 mg of folic acid both during and before pregnancy. It is advised that you take this supplement at least till the first 12 weeks of your pregnancy. The spine and the nervous system are already developed after that. Therefore, it’s up to you whether or not you would like to continue taking this supplement.

How much is ‘Too Much’?

Despite of the fact that folic acid is the pregnancy superhero, more than 1000 mg per day should not be taken. Therefore, it is important that you consult your physician before taking a step ahead with pre-natal supplements.

Is it Safe to Use Folic Acid with Other Vitamins?

The recommended dose is mostly a part of the pre-natal multivitamins your doctor has asked you to take. So, it is understood that it is perfectly safe to take it in combination with other vitamins.

As it’s better to be safe than sorry, you must take advise from your doctor before pairing it up with another vitamin.

Does it help in Conceiving as well?

There aren’t many researches that support the fact that folic acid improves fertility. However, it is believed that with other fertility treatments, this may also play a role in increasing your conceiving chances.

Towards the Vit-End

Folic acid is a wonder vitamin which does not only help your body produce and maintain new cells, but is also of great help during pregnancy. Doctors usually recommend females of reproductive age to start taking it from one month before conceiving till the first 12 weeks of pregnancy. The reason why it is an important pre-natal supplement is because it helps prevent neural tube defects.

So, incorporate it in your diet and enjoy the benefits!

 Written By: Dr. Maleeha Syed



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